Resolutions Of Change

At the beginning of every year, people are suddenly motivated to get out of the rut they find themselves in and make New Year’s resolutions. I bet that a good 60 percent of the time, however, those resolutions are out the door by March. Regardless of whether you know you aren’t going to stick to those resolutions, they’re still worth making. Creating resolutions is the first step to recognizing the changes in your life that you want to make, and that initial motivation can be satisfying despite the drag that the winter season brings. When making a resolution, there’s not only a motivation to stick to it, there’s a sense of optimism and drive that can efficiently be projected into other tasks. Even though you may or may not stick to it, the fact that you’re able to carry on for at least a week (hopefully you all can last a week) shows that you have some competence in carrying forth a resolution. And who cares if you don’t stick to it initially? The acknowledgement of a change is more valuable than completely neglecting the need for change.

Now, people may joke about the banal resolutions that others make, but there is a reason behind the banality. A common resolution is, of course, the health resolution. But there’s a way to compromise with this typically failed idea: start from three cookies a day, then work your way down.     Those holiday sweets killed me these past couple months, and it became a habit to not let that plate of cookies at home go empty by the end of the day.

I’m not saying you have to suddenly eat kale and quinoa granola bars either. I honestly hate healthy food: it’s not satisfying in my stomach and I end up hungry a couple hours after consuming those sorts of foods. The key is moderation.

Once you start to feel happy with your health, take all the selfies. Get confident. Taking incessant pictures of your cute little smiling face is the perfect example of such. Despite what the media defines as beauty (which, let’s be real, is photoshopped 90 percent of the time), it’s up to you to find your own definition of it, and confidence is the first step. And when you get confident, you might just be able to use that to move away from behind your laptop and talk to people.

When I say talk to people, I mean that literally. Get off your smartphone and notice who and what is around you. I feel that within the last four to six years, I’ve found myself to have a horrible attention span, and I have a feeling it has something to do with the tabs feature on Mozilla Firefox. In addition, it’s the fact that we have 15 different social media outlets and emails that we feel obligated to even check before peeing in the mornings.

You stop looking at the things around you and instead spend more time looking at pictures of those things online. Try spending a week without checking your Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc. and I guarantee you’ll feel less anxiety. (This is coming from someone who doesn’t have a smartphone.)

Speaking of anxiety, I feel like clutter can contribute a lot to such. Why don’t you get all Martha Stewart on your life and get organized! There’s something about making lists and keeping my room clean that, in turn, makes me feel more organized mentally as well. It’s one of the most frustrating feelings to be stuck at home looking for your keys when you should have left the house 10 minutes ago. When you start being organized on a regular basis everything starts to become slightly simpler in life.

Once you become organized, maybe you can use some of that extra mental energy to know what’s going on. Be informed. Look at news headlines on Twitter or listen to 10 minutes of NPR a day. There’s so much going on at once and there are media outlets reporting on it. Don’t be the person who doesn’t know the name of his/her own mayor.

It’s important to stay informed because the things that are happening in the community and in the world are more likely to affect your life post-college than that episode of The Walking Dead that you decided to watch instead.

 

Katrina Yentch is a third-year literary journalism major. She can be reached at kyentch@uci.edu.