At January 30th, I think I may have missed the deadline for setting myself New Year’s Resolutions.
Every year, I create a series of impossible tasks for myself. Become this person, become that person. Change this about yourself. Resolutions that only ever manifest on paper because I never stick to them.
Why does it have to be “new year, new me”, anyway? Can’t it be “new year, better me?” There’s this huge expectation that as soon as the clock strikes twelve on New Year’s Eve, each of us will have a “Cinderella” moment as we transform into perfect people. Instantly quit smoking, stop drinking; abandon all the things that were bad for us to the previous year.
But the thing is, becoming a better person takes time.
This past year has given and taken a lot in equal measures. The direction I thought my life was heading changed. Dreams that I had harboured for years didn’t work out. Although at the time I was devastated – after all, circumstances that were nothing to do with my own efforts were the only thing that stood in the way – I wouldn’t be where I am right now if things had gone differently. And I’m pretty happy as things stand. The happiest I’ve been for a long while, actually.
If 2016 taught me anything at all, it’s that fate does exist. And when the universe tries to tell you something, listen to it.
There are going to be days when we don’t want to go to the gym, or eat a chocolate spread sandwich for breakfast. There are going to be moments when we make a cruel comment, or oversleep, or spend far too much money on things we don’t need.
That’s life. That’s people. We are perfectly imperfect and we are never going to be anything other than that. But our best quality? We know how to keep trying. It’s taken me a few years to realise that it’s okay to do just that. So here are my resolutions, as late as they are. Not so much resolutions as promises that I hope to keep. Who knows. My February resolutions could turn into March ones; March promises could continue into April. Or I could forget all about them until January of next year. But I’ll at least try.
I guess that’s all I can do.
1. Take more photos. Take photos of the trees. Take photos of your boyfriend. Take photos of the sunset and the sunrise. Record the memories you’re building.
2. Make time for your own writing. Even if it’s just a line or two a day; don’t lose sight of why you want to be a writer.
3. Be more organised. I never thought I’d see the day when this would apply to me. University really has changed me.
4. Take care of yourself. You’re allowed to sleep past eight; you’re allowed to do something other than work; you’re allowed to have lazy days. Your health takes priority over anything else.
5. Stop putting yourself down. You have already proven that you are capable of so much more than you think. Become your own cheerleader.
6. Cook more. And I don’t mean put more frozen food in the oven. I mean prepare a meal with passion. Get excited for mealtimes.
7. Stop stressing about things that are out of your control. She writes stressing about something that is out of her control.
8. Stop feeling guilty about saying no. You don’t have to justify yourself, either.
9. Read more. Get lost in books you have yet to discover.
10. Go on adventures. Even if it’s just down a new street. You can’t know what’s around the corner.