Rebecca’s Reason: A brand new day
“What’s your New Year’s Resolution?”
I get asked this question every year. Every year I give the same answer.
“Nothing. I didn’t make one.”
I’ve never seen the appeal of making New Year’s resolutions in the first place. We always see those jokes about how people say, “I’m going to hit the gym up so much this year,” or, “I’m going to eat healthier,” or, “I’m going to spend less money and save up,” the resolutions fall through within two weeks, and everyone returns to whatever life they led before they made the momentous decision to change their lives. New year, new you…or not. Better luck next year, right?
Why do we have to make resolutions at the beginning of the year? I have never understood why a person needs to wait until the first day of January to alter how they live. If you’re miserable with your life, or upset with some part of it, why not start now? Don’t live in the rut of whatever is keeping you down. Move on.
Adjusting your life the day you decide something has to change stops you from feeling disappointed in yourself for failing at your short-lived life choices. Honestly guys, no one will think of you any differently for wanting to change something about your life as soon as you realize that you aren’t happy with it.
I try to be an advocate for making changes to your life if you don’t like a part of it. There isn’t some law about waiting for a certain day to make your life better. Just get out there and, well, make it better.
Some people would argue that a New Year’s resolution acts as a goal. You set the goal for yourself to actively follow your resolution for the year and evaluate your life after 365 days. But how many people actually follow through with their goals? A handful. Most people forget about them in a couple of weeks.
Instead of a long-term goal, try setting a short-term one. Let’s say that you want to be more active and go to the gym. Set a schedule of days to go. Trust me, you’re more likely to forget to go to the gym, or just not feel like going, if you don’t set a schedule. Pick a couple of days during the week to go and set a time. Evaluate yourself in a couple of weeks and see if you met your goal. Quite frankly, you’ll remember your goal more easily if you keep it at the forefront of your mind and check yourself within a shorter time period.
Checking your progress is absolutely vital to fulfilling your goal. If you resolve to get more sleep during the semester because you find yourself falling asleep way too often in class, plan ahead. Get your homework done earlier to get a few extra hours of sleep. Then check yourself. Maybe staying up until 4 a.m. the past two nights to finish those papers wasn’t the best idea. Don’t be afraid to make changes. Set times for yourself to complete tasks. Find a system that works for you, and stick with it.
Keep your goals realistic. If you want to save more money, limit your spending; don’t refrain from making purchases. We’re college students, and, from my personal experience, we’re fairly vulnerable to impulse buys. I’m not saying don’t buy anything. Just put a cap on how much you should spend. You should learn to like working towards your goals, not hating on them because you’re putting unrealistic restrictions on yourself.
So there’s a little self-help for you. You should never feel like you can’t do something, especially if it involves changing something you aren’t happy with in your life. Don’t wait for Day One of the year. Go out there and make some changes. You’ll be happy you did.
Rebecca Galib, a senior, studies English and music. She is this Assistant Editor-in-Chief of Le Provocateur.