Every moment, every day, I tell myself it’s alright to push off my responsibilities. I procrastinate. Apparently, it’s what I’m best at. After all, I’ve been writing late, sleeping late, and cramming at the last minute for every exam. The issue is that my mind believes procrastination is okay, and my routine depends on it. Laundry? I can push it off until next week. Finishing that 8 page paper? All I have to do is shift that block of study time onto tomorrow’s workload in Google Calendar. Procrastination is easy; that’s why we all do it. And New Year’s resolutions are the ultimate procrastination. Maybe that’s not the case for everyone, but I know that I almost never achieve my New Year’s resolutions. And perhaps it’s because I don’t really take it seriously. New Year’s resolutions are meant to be broken…right?
But if I push one goal off further, what if the chance is lost before I “get around to it”?
In 6 years, Aleppo turned from a bustling metropolis to a battleground. People are still being killed; children and families who had goals and hopes for a bright future had those opportunities taken from them. Meanwhile, safe in my college dorm at Berkeley, I pushed off my final assignment because I had the privilege of assured time. I knew I had a tomorrow waiting for me. Not everyone gets that. Some of my peers tell me that it’s only a matter of time before I become jaded and lose my faith in humanity. Maybe they’re right. Maybe, in 2020, I’ll have abandoned my goals. But in the next four years, anything could happen. This precarious feeling is only more present given the state of our government. I can’t know what will happen in four years. Hell, I don’t even know what I’m doing next week. But I have control over this present and the decisions in this moment. So don’t consider this a New Year’s resolution because the whole world could turn upside down in the next four years. This is my life resolution.
Don't view New Year's resolutions as material goals to be checked off before 2017 is up; consider them to be steps you want to take to be better, learn more, and grow as a person. Use your privilege, whatever modest amount you have, to impact the world around you. Taking small steps every day to reach long-term goals you set for yourself isn't impossible if you consciously and constantly challenge yourself to be better.
I don’t know who I’ll be in the next four years. I can only hope to stop making excuses for my past self, and, instead, give my future self the strength and capacity to be a better person than I am today.