New Year’s Resolutions Progress Report: May 2018

Because New Year’s Resolutions are made to be broken right? Wrong – Vivian He reports on her 2018 promises for her ‘best year ever’, and how she has kept, or broke them.

The anticipation is so palpable it feels like the world is standing on booming speakers. I see necks craning and phone-wielding arms as people readily position themselves. This is the moment we have all been waiting before, when finally… A stream of smokey-hues hisses towards the sky before exploding into a fountain of light, reflecting off everyone’s eyes. Simultaneously, a wave of unspeakable motivation is growing within me as I watch the sky being painted with fire. “This is my year,” I say to myself, every year. “The year where I’m going to be my best self and stick to my resolutions.”

And five months in, it is time to check up on those resolutions. What were they you may ask? Well, here they are:

1.     The customary exercise resolution: exercising through Pilates by following a monthly workout calendar, to be the fitter and skinnier me that appears in my dreams.

2.     To make friends by volunteering and joining societies and actually participating in their social events.

3.     To be an improved and more conscious person through reading self-improvement books

To start, the first resolution was a bust. I did not follow through with my Pilates regime, despite spending $120 for a fitness journal and a yoga mat, both of which I currently do not use. I could blame external factors such as work, but the truth lies with my negligence of being too lazy and not scheduling my day to fit in some exercise. Also, the lack of a clear goal resulted in my non-performance. Simply proclaiming “I’m going to exercise” is a very general statement that squandered my motivation as it got lost in the broad translation. A well-defined benchmark such as “I’m going to exercise for 20 minutes a day” would’ve been more effective - but for now, I am dealing with a mounting waistline.

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However, I am very happy to talk about my other resolutions, as I feel like I have full access to bragging rights from fulfilling them. Making friends in university is hard – believe me, I know, especially after a super lonely first year. That is why this year I joined UTSoC, JASS and the Peer Network Program as an active member, and partake in most events that these (and other societies) hold. By throwing myself into countless social events, I have met so many friends and created an intricate network of acquaintances. Now whenever I walk through UTS, I can always greet someone en route to my lecture, and feel like Cady Heron after she became a fully-fledged Plastic.

Finally, I have and am still in the process of achieving my ‘better self'. Allow me to clarify something: do not let the term ‘self-improvement’ or ‘self-help’ influence you to associate it with desperate or sad people. I read self-improvement books to become an upgraded version of myself that can utilise time efficiently, and not waste it on meaningless trifles. Thus, I would like to highly recommended two books: The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*uck by Mark Manson and How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie. Both deal with issues of stress and worry that I believe most university students can relate to, and although the differences lie in their mode of expression, both are stimulating just the same.

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You would not believe what a worry-wart I was about senseless matters such as whether or not I left the water faucet on, or if my grades were really good enough. But after reading through self-help literature, I have felt much more serene, for it gave me clarity about why or why not I should worry about certain issues. Now, problems don’t faze me as easily because I can discern which situations are worth my worries.

That concludes my report on my 2k18 resolutions, and to be frank, it is not perfect, but I am quite pleased with myself. Yes, I can lose sight of my goals and yes, sometimes the introvert in me just doesn’t want to get out of bed. And that’s okay, because new year resolutions can be delayed, but they should not be given up on.

Vivian He is a second-year Public Communications student, who is also completing a Diploma of Languages in Japanese. When she has time to spare, she likes to mindlessly wander through YouTube, or dance like a lunatic in her room.