With the passing of another new year, the calls to reinvent and revise ourselves again appear in the form of resolutions. The notion of New Year’s Resolutions often provokes very disparate reactions from people. Either the response is one of dismissal, a feeling that resolutions are cliché and patronising, that they are useless attempts to emerge as a new person which result in their being discarded by the second week in January. Others embrace this time of year has a period of refection and assessment, with the forming of goals and aims a welcomed beginning to the start of a new year.
Often New Year’s Resolutions come with the underlying thought that we are not good enough. We can be thinner, healthier, smarter all while cutting our dairy and stopping to bite our nails. Resolutions are goals we place on ourselves to further critique our choices in life and attempt to place measurable ideas of success when it comes to ‘living our best life.’ This idea of resolutions speaks to the human need to be constantly improving and working on ourselves. It speaks to our nature of being constantly unsatisfed and consistently craving betterment, in our personal and academic lives.
However, most resolutions appear as only superfcial goals, which speaks to the perception of their implementation as merely a phase instead of a new way of life. Many of us focus on diet, exercise, money in the creation of resolutions as they are areas of life that can be controlled by us so, are more straightforward when it comes to re-assessing priorities in our daily routine.
The creation of resolutions are seemingly forced upon as at an arbitrary time as there is no real difference from 31st December to 1st January and in that time is is unlikely any of us have undertaken a complete overhaul of personality. While resolutions should not be viewed as having to be life-altering, they do beckon a better time than ever to look back and reflect on what we liked about the past months and what could do with some adjustment. Setting yourself small but achievable goals can be really useful. Not only does it allow you to think about where you are and where you’d like to be, it provides an opportunity to think about how far you’ve come in the last year. It’s a chance to self-congratulate, something that should never be passed up. Maybe you’re a frst year who never thought they would make it into their second year, but buckled down and made it through. Maybe you finally joined that society you were always intimidated by. Whatever it was that sparked a little pride within you, resolutions allow you to not only recognise your achievements but to build upon them.
Do not be deterred from making resolutions that may appear to be superficial if they are important to you. Sure, going to the gym more often is probably the most popular resolution made every year but this and the fear of it only be a fleeting success should not convince someone is not a worthy goal. Wanting to feel more conf dent in your body is not a crime. Wanting to exercise as a means of self-care and as a way to regulate mental health is not an aim that should be undermined. If it takes a while to get started or a week break turns into a months long break, keeping optimistic and pushing back against the loss of confidence is important if a change is really what is wanted.
Taking the more optimistic outlook when it comes to resolutions is going to do no harm. If a diet lasts as long as a hangover, so be it. If you start going to the gym in mid-March, at least you made it. Little successes are what matters in ensuring that the new year is a welcomed time of year instead of one simply met with indifference.
With that being said, below are examples of resolutions of a couple of University of Edinburgh students. Take a look, perhaps for some inspiration or just to be nosy.
To cook more often and be more experimental in the kitchen as it can be such a mindful experience and a brilliant escape from uni stress.
To stay present. Due to my anxious nature, I often find myself spending time worrying about the future or past. So, I plan to increase the time I spend journalling and to meditate more regularly.
Take more photos as I want to have physical reminders of my time in Edinburgh and want to take time to appreciate the moment as taking a photo is another way to live in the now.
Make a conscious decision to declutter and donate and share my possessions as much as possible.
Make smarter decisions when it comes to shopping for clothes by moving away from fast fashion and finding sustainable alternatives.
Gradually work up to going to the gym three times a week.
Find some meat-less recipes that are simple and can be made on the regular.
Grasp a better understanding of my finances and make a budgeting plan.
Try something that scares me as these are often the things that are most worth doing.
Take better care of my hair as over the years it has been bleached, coloured, straightened and curled so in 2019, I’ve started taking hair vitamins and using oils to try and fix this mess.
Take multivitamins every day. I like to think my diet is pretty good but I’m convinced something is missing so I want to take a supplement every day to improve my health.
Buy flowers more often. Having flowers in your bedroom is just delightful and shows a little bit of self-care. Expect flowers on my windowsill at all times from now on.
Try more new places. Before I leave Edinburgh after my graduation this summer, I want to explore new cafes, restaurants, bars etc. rather than constantly returning to old favourites. I have to make the most of this city before I go!
Try to be more consciously loving and caring towards my body.
Attempt to switch off from devices more regularly, in order to reduce stress.
Keep learning Spanish. Try to do five minutes of Duolingo every day.
Actually reply to people when they message me! Forgetting to reply often leads to a lot of stress down the line.
Image Credit: JHertle via Pixabay