2,018 Resolutions for 2018
Made you look.
No, I don’t actually have 2,018 resolutions for 2018. The sad thing is that some of you probably thought I did, and I’m not entirely sure what that says about me, or about your perceptions of me. But I sure piqued your curiosity, didn’t I?
To accomplish 2,018 goals in one year, I would have to complete 5.5 goals every single day for 365 straight days. Unless those goals include things like “eat food” and “wake up”, I’m not entirely sure 5.5 goals per day is even humanly possible.
Nevertheless, now that we’re here, let me share with you my actual resolutions for 2018. They say that sharing your goals with others makes you more accountable, so here I am, getting vulnerable about my goals in the hopes that me telling you will make me actually do them.
Resolution #1: Lose 10 lbs.
I know that this is like the most cliché New Year’s resolution ever, but I actually mean it. My 2016 internship added 10 lbs. of lobster to my waistline that I still haven’t been able to shake. I regularly go back and forth between “I can’t fit into my clothes anymore” and “Oh who cares? Life’s too short not to enjoy that donut.” But I really would like to fit into some of my clothes again, so it’s time to take this seriously.
To accomplish this goal, exercise will obviously be a component, but the real goal is to cut back on sugar. I’m not enough of a masochist to say "no sugar ever", but I had a rude awakening a couple of months ago that I legitimately need to cut back on the amount of sugar I consume before I give myself Type II diabetes. Therefore, I give you all leave to verbally judge me if you see me furtively reaching for that donut.
Resolution #2: Put more effort into my blog
I have no idea what I actually mean by this, but it’s a goal so I’ll throw it on here.
Resolution #3: Rediscover hobbies
It didn’t take long for me to realize that school made me about the most boring person on the planet. Homework, exams, and extracurricular activities demanded 99.9% of my time and brainpower, which meant there was no time for hobbies (except occasionally binge-watching mindless Netflix shows, which I considered essential to my mental well-being). Therefore, unless I spent a somewhat consistent amount of time with a person, the most anyone could think to talk to me about was school, which is a 5-minute conversation in the best of circumstances. And I was no help in furthering the conversation either. Unless my friends and I were talking about politics (it’s DC), dating (we’re all single and haunted by dating), or my most recent Netflix binge, I was a pretty poor contributor to normal everyday conversations.
All of this is to say that 2018 is going to be my Year O’ Hobbies. I might actually try to learn how to play the guitar that sits near my bed, or take cool photos with the expensive DSLR camera sitting in my closet (as well as my recently acquired Christmas drone). Maybe I’ll actually learn how to cook, since I can’t just eat my roommate’s leftovers anymore (which also helps with Resolution #1). Or maybe I’ll turn Resolution #1 into a hobby by picking up yoga, or paddle boarding, or some other completely Millennial exercise trend. Maybe I’ll learn to read for fun again, instead of feeling PTSD every time I pick up a book. Maybe I’ll even try to write a book. No matter what it is, let’s just overlook the fact that I now work for a big law firm (#BigLawLife), and instead get ready for me to become a much more interesting human in 2018.
Resolution #4: Go to bed before 11:00 pm
Apparently there’s a saying that “the early bird catches the worm”. There’s also a saying that “the early bird can’t catch the worm if it’s watching TV until midnight every night”. Actually I made up that last saying. But the principle is still true. Not long ago I was having a conversation with one of my mentors, and I asked him how he was able to be so successful in his life. Ever since going to grad school, I have been plagued by one burning question: how do successful people do it all? How do they accomplish so much in the same 24 hours (other than the obvious answer of hiring an entourage to do the mundane daily tasks for them, like laundry and setting up doctors appointments)? I’ve tried to ask a couple of the (read, only) successful people I know how they do it, but it was this one mentor who really brought it home. He said,
Prioritize your time into good, better, and best. I don’t even watch 1 hour of TV a year because it is a complete waste of time. If my kids ask me to sit down and watch a YouTube video, I respond by asking them if it is necessary, or just nice to know. If it’s anything other than necessary, I won’t watch it. I’d rather spend the time with them doing an activity or talking, but I won’t waste my time watching TV.
Other than being completely heartbreaking, this is pretty good advice. When I watch too much TV, I become totally mindless, and all the great activities I had planned to do while watching TV suddenly become unimportant, and 3 hours later I've accomplished nothing. Unfortunately for TV, this Wall Street Journal article about the importance of timing in accomplishing our goals backs up my mentor’s advice. Guess it’s a good thing Resolution #3 exists, because this means I have to give up my only way to relate to people. Now, I’m not ready to take the plunge and say “no TV ever”, but I do think it’s time to put restraints on how much I watch and when. Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and the like have been great for entertainment in so many ways, but the binge-watching aspect of online streaming is probably not the greatest addition to a society that is already consumed by smartphones and social media and struggling to remember how to talk to each other.
So, my 2018 resolution is TV off by 9:00 pm, in bed and reading until 10:00 pm, and then lights out. We’ll see how long this one lasts.
Resolution #5: Start writing in my journal again
I used to be really good at keeping a journal. Then I stopped. Probably because when I would write, I couldn’t stop and would just keep going for pages and pages and pages, and then the thought of writing so much stressed me out and I got too overwhelmed to continue. At one point I even started buying physically smaller journals so that it would feel like I was writing less. And then, on my mission, I limited myself to one page a day, which meant most of my entries finish and then go up the sides of the page and around all of the margins.
But I still think journal writing is important; nay, therapeutic. And for someone like me who can get easily over stressed, I think that’s helpful, even though the cover of my journal says “Make Things Happen”. I’m so unbelievably predictable. Nevertheless, it’s a place to write down my real deep thoughts and feelings, which I need to do as a way of processing life, because, no, I don’t use my blog to tell you everything.
So my 2018 resolution is to be more regular about writing in my journal. I’m not going to require an amount, because that will stress me out, but I just want to be more conscious about doing it with greater frequency.
What are your 2018 New Year’s Resolutions?