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The Resolutioner’s Guide To Keeping New Year’s Resolutions

hand holding the sparkler

Resolutioner (n): Someone who wholeheartedly embraces their New Year’s resolutions, especially known for their activity in the months of January and February. Example: “I wish these resolutioners would leave the gym.” “Don’t worry, they’ll be gone in a month.”

As someone proud to call herself a resolutioner, the culture of disapproval surrounding New Year’s resolutions disappoints me.

Each year, we are given an opportunity to reflect upon ourselves. Not to say self-reflection and improvement cannot occur at any time of the year, but the new year has become culturally symbolic of change. Why pass up the perfect opportunity to improve upon yourself?

I take the idea of resolutions a little farther than most – this year I have compiled a list of 15 resolutions:

Artistic:

  1. Write in my daily journal more, maybe even strive for every day.
  2. Write a novel. Even if it’s really bad, stick to one topic for a lot of pages.
  3. Learn at least four applications of the Adobe Creative Suite.
  4. Fill every page in my mostly empty sketchbook.
  5. Remain ambitious and take on new projects.

Physical:

  1. Become more accepting of my own body.
  2. Attend the gym slightly more. Slightly is realistic, right?
  3. Get more sleep. This can be as small a goal as moving from six to seven hours each night.
  4. Speak with more confidence in public settings. Note, still work on interrupting others less.
  5. Learn how to ride a bike. (I know, how can I live in Fort Collins and not know?)

Intrinsic:

  1. Pay more attention in class. The Internet will not run out of black booties in an hour, anyway.
  2. Learn to put my pride aside.
  3. Do one good deed a month. Already need two for February to make up for January….
  4. Get out of my comfort zone more often.
  5. Forgive myself easier.

A decorative list hangs above my desk to remind myself of each goal as I go about my day-to-day activities.

My artistic goals involve things I already enjoy doing, but seldom make time for in a busy schedule. Nights when I have finished an appropriate amount of homework, I will see the poster and switch mindsets, taking a brief moment to journal or sketch before bed.

My roommate, biomedical sciences freshman Lacy Lichtenhan, has been a wonderful influence when it comes to working out. We pick two days each week to go together and write them out on a whiteboard in our room.

The visual elements of the poster and whiteboard both offer tangible reminders of my goals and renew my motivation to adhere to them.

Involving friends is another great way to keep yourself accountable, especially if you have built up enough rapport that they can encourage you to follow through on your fitness goals when your bed starts to seem more appealing than the treadmill.

Intrinsic goals are often very personal and can be harder to share. They are also typically much harder to achieve and measure as well, due to their abstract nature.

These are the goals, however, that truly push us to become better people. While goals 1-10 build healthier habits and skills, goals 11-15 seek to improve upon my values and actions. You can be a fitness fanatic with a 4.0 GPA and still be inconsiderate, unambitious, or immoral.

“New year, new me” has become a phrase synonymous with the negative stigma surrounding resolutioners, but all you have to do to prove the nonbelievers wrong is follow through with your goals.

People root for the underdog. And, unfortunately, anyone taking on a New Year’s resolution is indeed an underdog. Countless have tried before you and failed, hence the miserable reputation set before you. However, you can be an inspiration that doesn’t let spring semester stress take down resolutions, but follows through in all four seasons.

For all the people complaining at the gym every week, fitness was just a goal at some point, too. And guess what? They’re at the Rec every day because they found a will and a way to follow through.