5. 4. 3. 2. 1. Spotify Wrapped is behind us and the New Year is ahead is here!
2022 has come to an end – 12 months, 52 weeks, 365 days, 8760 hours. Whether you spent the year watching thousands of episodes of Netflix series or actually hit the gym every morning, you got through and that is what’s important.
Maybe you look back to last January and think about all the resolutions you made. I wonder, how many students make resolutions, and how many of them succeed at sticking to them? How many revolved around fixing your insecurities or involved crazy diet changes? How many of you are going into the New Year disappointed and feeling guilty for looking no different to 12 months ago?
Frankly, the idea of New Year’s resolutions is archaic – literally, they were started thousands of years ago by Babylonians – and honestly seems like another capitalist construct we keep alive to perpetuate feelings of shame about our own unproductivity and to kill our self-esteem. But I’m not going to be a buzzkill. I’m not going to sit here and preach to you about resisting social norms and not making resolutions. In fact, I’m here to tell you how to make your resolutions more achievable, enjoyable and valuable.
Upgrading your resolutions
- Instead of making promises you realistically won’t stick to, look at how you’ve grown in the past years and challenge yourself to do better. For example, if last year, you only had takeout twice a week, resolve to only order dinner every other week. Or, if you started reading last year, try to read 10 pages a day this year.
- Adding on from that, make goals that can be developed in the future. You could aim to start jogging this year so that in a few years, you could run a marathon! Or, for instance, start drinking plant-based milk so you can slowly become vegan over the years.
- Remember that your resolutions don’t have to be serious or significant in any way! Your resolution could be to find a new solution to hiccups or to watch movies in 10 different languages.
- Make goals with someone else so that they can hold you accountable. If you aim to learn a new language, get one of your friends or siblings to join you so that you can compete, or so they can keep you on track.
- Have an incentive: If you’re trying to quit a habit, get a jar and put a pound in there every time you do what you’re not supposed to be doing.
- Make resolutions you can track over the months. Maybe have a progress check each week or month and keep a list of checkboxes you can tick off to feel satisfaction from time to time.
Non-conventional and interesting ideas
If you want to make resolutions for the New Year but have no ideas, here are a few you could use and modify for your own suitability:
- Volunteer for [#] hours
- Explore particular cuisines
- Explore the UK or Manchester
- Try new nail polish/lipstick/eyeshadow colours
- Listen to certain new genres or artists
- Drink more water
- Learn magic tricks
- Read [#] books
- Get [#] goals in your sport overall or in a game
- Start thrifting or wearing more sustainable fashion
- Experiment and find out how you sleep best
- Join societies and pick up hobbies
- Give someone a compliment every day
- Learn to meal prep
- 1 self-care weekend every month
- Improve your skincare or haircare routines
- Write letters to your future self each week
What I’m aiming for this year
I hope these have inspired you and that you’ll consider being more relaxed with your resolutions. Finally, here are five of my resolutions for 2023:
- Be in an artist’s top 0.5% listeners in the Spotify Wrapped (the closest I’ve gotten is 1%)
- Read 35 books for my Goodreads Challenge (I’ve done 30 for the past 3 years)
- Find more 1 pot recipes I can make easily as a student
- Visit 3 cities other than Manchester in the UK
- Develop healthy coping mechanisms