This post is so cliché and overdone that I almost hate myself for writing it. But I figure putting my resolutions out onto the world wide web for all to see will help me stay accountable, so here goes.
Until last year, I’d never been one for new year’s resolutions. I had always found them a little trite and every time I’d attempted to implement them in my own life, I lost interest and failed miserably within a few weeks. But as I’ve written about in previous blog posts, I set (and stuck to!) a resolution last year that had a huge positive effect on my life: being more optimistic. I think a big reason why that resolution stuck was because I found something about myself that I genuinely wanted to change for myself. I didn’t do it because I felt like I had to or because others were doing it or because I felt guilted into it. I did it because I sincerely wanted to better myself. So this year I’ve decided to stick to that method and identify things about myself that I can realistically work on for reasons that mean something to me.
Strengthen my immune system
This year I found myself getting sick a lot. A lot. I started the year out with a double sinus infection and the flu (which I had to endure on a 15-hour plane trip—would not recommend), ended it with a bad chest cough (happy new year to me!), and got sick multiple times in between. I think it’s fair to say that a portion of that can be attributed to the stress I experienced being in my last year of uni, but if I’m being totally honest, I know that my poor diet and lack of exercise was the real antagonist.
Being sick is exhausting, especially when it’s happening constantly. So this year, I’m going to make a conscious effort to get into habits that will help strengthen my immune system: regular exercise, remembering to take all my supplements and medications daily, plenty of water, a consistent and healthy sleep schedule, and a diet that doesn’t primarily consist of McDonald’s and Mad Mex.
I’ve tried to set resolutions like that for myself in previous years—lose weight, drink more water, eat healthily—but I’ve failed every time. My motivation for those things has always been extrinsic (i.e. to fit certain beauty ideals, to impress other people, etc.), and I’ve found that extrinsic motivation simply isn’t sustainable for me personally. Working toward bettering my immune system wasn’t a conscious choice—I’m just so sick of being sick. I feel really good about this resolution, particularly since I’ve already gotten myself into a great exercise routine and a healthy sleep pattern (though the diet part still needs a little work).
Better money management skills
I am the QUEEN of drying up my bank account as soon as it gets a little money in it. I’m seriously so bad at managing my money. I don’t even know where it all goes (just kidding. I totally do. It all goes to Maccas). Since I’m planning to travel this year, it’s imperative that I get my act together ASAP and learn how to save. I’ve already taken significant steps toward this resolution like keeping a written log of when, how much, and where I’m spending my money, as well as transferring a good portion of any money I receive into a locked savings account as soon as I get it.
Putting in an effort in uni
Okay so this one is a cliché at its finest. I know. But I have good reasoning behind it! Being honest, I didn’t put my best effort in for the first couple of years in uni. I slacked off, not considering how it would affect my future in any way. In my last year I realised I needed to pull it together and really start putting in some work. Once I started receiving great marks instead of average ones, I felt like I was on top of the world. It made me wonder why I hadn’t been striving for that the whole time!
This year, I’m determined to put in the hours it takes to get really great marks. I’m going to do the things that make me uncomfortable or that I haven’t been bothered to do previously, like actually utilising professors’ office hours and following up with grades I’m not happy with. I love learning and I love uni, but what’s the point if I’m not trying my best?
I love challenging myself, especially if I know that I’m only going to benefit from the goals I’ve set. Of course I don’t expect any of these changes to happen overnight, nor do I anticipate them being easy. But after experiencing last year how one resolution can unexpectedly change so many different aspects of your life, and how easy it is to make new behaviours become habits, I’m so excited to see how I’ve changed by the end of 2019.