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New Year’s Resolutions

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This past winter break, I left school early to spend a full month at home with my family. This meant I had no influence from school or reason to check Teams and Outlook. Before I left, I turned everything off because life started to feel claustrophobic and repetitive. Not much was motivating me, I wasn’t happy, and I definitely wasn’t having fun. During my time off I spent multiple hours with my own thoughts and discussing life with my close friends and family. It became apparent that I had no real motive or plan for life after studies, which for me, is stressful. I came to the conclusion that I spent most of my autumn semester focusing on everyone else and barely allotted time for myself, which is why I have a new attitude for the spring semester. 


I have never really been one for setting new year’s resolutions. In a way they seem superficial to me. However, they are also tempting and often provide incentive and motivation for many. I tried setting new year’s resolutions in 2021 for the first time (at least that I remember), and I did keep some of them, but a few of them either tapered off or were never completed.  

This year I wanted to try something new. I wanted to focus specifically on my future and create very concrete goals. I think one of the reasons it was hard to follow through with new year’s resolutions was the issue of them being so vague. Writing down: go to the gym, eat healthily, and travel, are valid goals, but very difficult to maintain in the long run without any deeper contemplation or dedication. New year’s resolutions appear to be an easy way to set goals, something that is highly encouraged for business owners and entrepreneurs.  

I have personally struggled with setting goals outside of athletics. During my years running track and field, all of my goals were numbers, which were easy to follow and attainable. However, any goals related to personal life or career progress have been difficult to achieve due to their lack of clarity or research.  

This year I wanted to set goals specifically for my career. Even narrowing the resolutions down to one area of my life has made them feel more reachable and feasible. For example, studying 5-7 additional credits for the spring semester is a numerical goal with less wiggle room, per say. This allows me to still have creativity in which courses to choose, but with boundaries. Another example is researching master’s degree programs in Europe and the US. This has been a long-term goal of mine that I hope to achieve in the next 5-10 years. Although research is broad, by setting aside an hour each week or every other week, the topic itself gets narrowed down and I gain more experience researching to save time in the future.  

After much contemplation, I have realized as well that goals do not need to be forced, and not achieving a goal is not a setback. Our lives change daily and setting goals in January for the rest of the year can be limiting. We should allow ourselves room to grow, because by the time June rolls around, we may be presented with a new job opportunity or challenge that shifts plans. We should also remember the margin of error, because when life gets hard or there are a few bumps in the road it should not result in guilt. Goals should be flexible and not borders that close us off from other paths.  

Obviously, it would be convenient if all goals were achieved and everything went according to plan, but in reality, that is very difficult. Entrepreneurs for example often set revenue goals or hope to purchase a storefront location. Both goals require dedication and extensive hours from the business owners. At some point though, there might be a drop in the markets or another pandemic that has lasting impacts on the economy. Which is why having an alternative plan or even small back up is wise to prevent the destruction of all progress or loss of all profits. Entrepreneurs are passionate about their projects and being able to make changes and switch directions is a valuable skill.  

My new year’s resolution for 2022 is to be selfish for once, and try to think about myself a little bit more, because we don’t get a second life <3 Everyone is unique, which also means that everyone will have a different style of creating and maintaining goals. It is important to have goals that are sustainable and flexible and will produce an outcome that you are content with. 

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