New Year’s Resolutions 2016

The Earth has gone around the Sun again, without fail, and I, too, without fail, a few days before New Year’s, will sit down to write my New Year’s resolutions. One voice in my head, the optimist, declares boldly, “2016 will be my year!” as the other voice, the realist, tells me that in my heart of hearts, it is futile; I will lose motivation, the days will slip by, and in the end, only time can win this battle. There are many guides on the Internet full of tips & tricks on making your resolutions practical, feasible, and accomplishable, as well as people who tell you exactly why they do not make New Year’s resolutions, statistics telling you that only 8% of people are successful in achieving their resolution, what your resolution says about your personality, what your resolution should be based on your Zodiac sign, etc, etc.

But I’ve always loved that feeling of starting anew on January 1st, wiping away all the mistakes of the last year with a turn of the calendar page. It reminds me of this quote from Anne of Green Gables: “isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?” It’s also helpful that my birthday is in January – turning another year older adds to that image of newness, which I think is the most motivating thing about New Year’s. Anyway, here are my New Year’s resolutions, which I have tried to make less vague and unrealistic:

Write a poem everyday & a short story every week. I’ll admit, this one is a tad unrealistic, but even if I don’t exactly write this much, I’m hoping it’ll push me to write a lot more this year. After all, I’m not trying to write great epics here (although who knows? maybe that’ll happen, too). I think I’ll try to wake up early and write a poem before school, which might set me in a nicer mood, or I’ll try to write a poem before going to bed. For the short stories, I think I’ll have to utilize whatever spare time I have as well as my weekends to accomplish them.

Get published in at least 5 literary magazines. This goes along with the first resolution – in a way, it kind of ensures that I do actually write something. And trying to publish more has been something I’ve wanted to do for a while.

Read at least 25 books outside of school. I’ve divided my 2016 reading list into books read for school and books outside of school. Even though I love a lot of the books we read in school, I really want to try and expand the scope of my reading and discover a greater diversity of literature.

Learn how to drive. Not much to say here. I feel like I’m behind all my peers with this but I do want to get my license before going off to college in a year and a half-ish. Speaking of which – 

Get into one of my top choice colleges. This is a big one, and also one that bleeds into 2017. I was going to make separate resolutions about getting good grades, SAT scores, doing well with extracurriculars, volunteering, etc, but it’s easier to lump them all together into this one.

Drink more water & eat healthier. This was also a resolution from last year, and one that I don’t think I managed to accomplish. I think I need to start carrying one of those reusable water bottles around. And I need to be more openminded and less picky about the food I eat, even if I do hate so much of the food that I know is good for me.

Figure out how to manage my time & sleep more. Time management & being productive in general is not one of my fortes. In fact, a personality website once told me procrastination was the nature of my name. Anyway, I am going to attempt to overcome this nature by creating schedules/finding methods that allow me to do the same amount of work more efficiently and not let me get distracted by the Internet. By organizing my time better, I’ll be able to finish everything I need to do earlier and hopefully get more than 5 hours of sleep on school nights.

Learn from mistakes instead of getting stressed/depressed. Whenever I get a worse grade on something than I expect, I have the tendency to see myself in the depths of despair and start crying over whatever it is, which just results in a lot of negative feeling that makes me feel stressed out and pressured about the next thing my grade depends on, which makes me feel unmotivated to study, and then it turns into a horrible vicious cycle. So in 2016, I’ll take a step back from my mistakes, figure out why they happened, and then improve for the next time without blaming myself too harshly.

Develop self-confidence. I’ve suffered from a lack of confidence ever since… forever, practically, and even though it’s always been something I’ve wanted to improve, I’ve always pushed it aside to focus on other, more immediate things, always thinking it would just come naturally all of a sudden. But I know that confidence doesn’t just happen overnight, and I’m trying to teach myself that I can still have confidence in myself despite not having done the thousand wonderful amazing things that I picture Ideal Me™ would have done.

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