Simonson Says: The resolutions I make every year (but I mean them this time)

I’m not sure I get the point of New Year’s resolutions. Well, I mean, I do and I don’t. I think it’s great if you make and keep them, but, for someone like me, who probably couldn’t keep up her resolutions if her life literally depended on it (and, if I leave some of these alone much longer, it will), merely writing a different year number on my school assignments makes for relatively weak motivation.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t keep (halfheartedly) trying. Maybe the problem is that I never really officially make them. How do you officially make a New Year’s resolution, anyway? I’ve heard people asking each other, “Did you make a New Year’s resolution?” and can’t help but wonder if I missed an integral part of the process. I just kind of go, “Oh, it’s Jan. 1? OK, all that stuff I’ve been meaning to do — those are my New Year’s resolutions.” Are you supposed to register them or something to make them official?

Well, consider this my registration. Maybe if I actually publish them, someone will hold me to them, or I’ll feel more pressure to make an effort. How does this apply to you, you ask? Well, I’m betting you’ve made a similar resolution to at least one of these.

Be healthier. I’m not going to be too specific on this one, because I’m sure we all want to lose varying amounts of weight and some of us don’t want to share the exact number, but let’s not focus so much on how much weight we want to lose as we do on how to be healthy. There’s the free gym here, of course, which is a great deal, but I’m also just looking forward to it warming up a bit (not even a lot, just a little, Utah; these current temperatures are really not working out for anyone) just so I can walk again. The best shape I’ve ever been in was when I walked everywhere. Walking is so easy and relaxing that there’s no reason to not be doing it all the time (so long as the weather cooperates — I’m sorry, these temperatures are really not working out!). I’m also trying to get back into the habit of taking daily vitamins, which don’t have to be those big nasty horse pills that are hard to swallow and give you stomachaches — have you tried the “Finding Nemo” gummy vitamins for kids? You laugh, but they’re delicious. You’ll actually look forward to taking them (just up the dosage a bit).

Keep up in school. This is a resolution I make every new semester, and I have varying degrees of success each time. Some semesters I surprise myself and scrape all As in the end, and others that I think are going to be a breeze are the hardest to stay on top of. My time at Weber is nearing its end, though, so this time, I can’t just brush it off with an “ah well, maybe next time” if I don’t do as well as I should be able to. There’s only so much I can suggest here — basically, you just have to make sure you never fall off the wagon in the first place, because it’s near impossible to get back on it again after you’ve let too much slide — but I can say that some of us take on too much for ourselves and ultimately have to decide on our priorities. I commend those of you who are super active in the school and community, but if and when it starts to affect your grades, some things might have to go. Over the last few months, I thought I could take on another paying job and be OK, even though I struggle to stay on top of all my jobs and schoolwork as it is. In the end, though, both my grades and my performance in that job suffered, and I soon accepted that I’d have to drop it. If you’re in a similar situation, don’t keep trucking along on something you don’t enjoy just for a little extra money (unless you need it to live) or because you feel like you have to. Your education is more important.

Finish that big personal project. I’m intentionally vague here, because I’m sure everyone has their own, but, for my fellow English majors, I’m sure this is a novel or other writing project for you too. Our more ambitious projects can take years to complete (no great American novel was written in a semester), so the more realistic goal here might be to never go too long without making substantial progress on it. School and work are important, but so are your personal long-term dreams. If you think you’ll never be truly happy if you don’t meet a certain personal goal, then yes, it should be a priority. If you have time to play Facebook games, then you have time to write, paint, build, or whatever it is that calls to you.

And if the dawn of a new year doesn’t motivate you to get going on your goals, consider this: We somehow dodged a cosmic bullet last month when the apocalypse passed us by. You’ve been given a second chance at life, buds.