Ah, January. As Troy and Gabriella so eloquently put it (way back in 2005, guys), it's the start of something new. Many of us look back on 2014 as a period of growth, and hope that our new 2015 outlooks will drive us directly down the path of success and prosperity. The New Year is a time for us to say goodbye to our past selves and rebuild upon a fresh foundation. Like the physical changing of a calendar, our motivation resets each year, giving us the ability to set our sights on previous unreachable goals and deep seated desires. Each year, we concoct a concrete embodiment of these desires in the form of "New Year's Resolutions," in the hopes that our eyes do, indeed, stay on the prize.
You after reading what I just wrote #notamused
LOL, we all know that New Years resolutions are comprised of the most recognizable form of bullshit around: false promises. And you know what’s worse than false promises to other people? False promises to yourself. Deep, I know. You know what’s even worse than that? Making everyone else listen to it. So before you get on your social media high horse and list your New Year's Resolutions for the whole of your friends and acquaintances to see, check to make sure you’re resolutions are actual changes to your lifestyle that you want to make to better yourself in the long run. Many of the things on this upcoming list, although commendable in practice, are empty, and all too common, statements. So read this before you post. And then still probably don’t post.
1. “I’m totally going to work out everyday!”
What even are these?
This just isn’t true. Very few people (that I know at least, although that could be indicative of my friend group...) work out everyday. Life happens. Weather happens. That policy memo due tomorrow, a cute person from section wanting you to help them edit their creative writing assignment and, of course, sleep are all reasons why the gym gets put on the farthest back burner. If I hear one more person outline their new workout regimen that they found on some fitblr (i.e. fitness tumblr) when they were scrolling Pinterest last night, I’m going to scream. If you genuinely want to workout daily that’s awesome: grab a buddy, some water and a treadmill. If you don’t: great, you’re average.
Fat Amy is my spirit animal
2. “I’m not going to eat any more unhealthy foods”
This isn't the Boola giving you permission to exchange unhealthy foods for drugs just FYI
There’s a thing called, “Group eating mentality”: if you see the people around you eating junk, then you will probably eat junk too. If that isn’t a thing already then why am I writing for the Boola? I should be writing for Psychology Today, making discoveries and crap (you know what word I really wanted to use instead of crap). Anyway, we all know it's true. Eating healthy in college is like having a wholesome night at Toads. Nearly impossible and probably ruined by the amount of alcohol you drink. Cutting out sweets here and there definitely isn’t a bad thing (because who needs dessert after lunch and dinner, am I right Yale Dining Halls?) but talking about it is. Same as the workout regimens, I don’t want to hear about your raw after four, Paleo, gluten free new diet. Especially not at the dinner table.
This is what healthy eating drives people to
3. “I’m going to get 8 hours of sleep”
Why do we even kid ourselves
You know you aren’t going to get eight hours of sleep. When is the last time you got that much sleep during the academic year? Seventh grade? Fifth? Sleep isn’t a part of my vocabulary anymore. Now naps, I can tell you something about naps, but sleep? She’s an elusive one. Even when the universe is completely on your side (you have no homework, no extracurriculars and no early class), the possibility of a full nights sleep still seems to get lost in the shuffle. You are inevitably sucked into a conversation that you didn’t intend to have. If you try to avoid this conversation your FOMO slowly consumes you from the inside out. You end up going to bed at 2am for no reason. Every. Single. Time.
4. "I'm going to start yoga"
Yoga is "paw-sitively" hard (lol!)
Yoga’s difficult. Like really really really hard (that’s the definition of difficult). It requires upper body strength, core strength and balance, all of which you and I don’t have. Since you probably didn’t keep the first resolution to go to the gym regularly, you think that yoga will be a trendy and aesthetically pleasing way to get in shape. No. I don’t know where this train of thought came from. Remember those “Expectation vs. Reality” pictures that blew up on the interwebs a bit ago? Yeah, don’t have your life mimic those. We can’t all be extremely thin, perfect messy bun having, racially ambiguous girls who do sunrise yoga next to a bowl of overnight oats and a mason jar full of green smoothie.
The only yoga I want to do (shoutout to my friend Stephanie in Farnam)
5. "I'm going to be nicer"
This is, contrary to popular/pop culture belief, not the nicest way to say goodbye to your friends
We all should be a little bit nicer. We can agree that tripping nuns and popping children’s balloon are evil and deplorable acts, but it's the small micro-aggressions that we want to cut out. For some reason we can’t help ourselves from saying that snarky remark or not holding the door when we’re in a hurry. Since I'm a natural snarky snark, I've had to train myself to filter what I say, so I know it's possible. It takes diligence, time and patience. It's not an overnight endeavor. If you don't allow yourself one un-held door here and there one day your going to snap. Being a good person is a marathon, not a sprint, and you all know how I feel about running.
6: "I'm going to call home more often"
See, if you went to the gym everyday, this would be an image of you getting a call from home.
I make a point to call my mom weekly, but deep down I know I should do it more often. Our parents raised us, and objectively I understand how my mom could be freaking out knowing that I am on my own for the first time. That being said, it’s sometimes hard to explain what’s happening in your life to people back home. Having to explain to an adult non-Yalie about screw, and why it's called screw, and the implications of that, and, “no mom I didn’t have sex with him” and “no mom that wasn’t my goal,” and knowing deep down some of your older relatives just want to ask what race they are, could make anyone not want to pick up the phone. It’s just too much. We say we’ll make the effort, but simple “I have two classes today” and “yes, I’ll remember the hat grandma knitted me” texts are just so much easier.
7. “I’m going to start assignments when they are assigned instead of leaving them until the last minute”
The irony of this is that, at the time, I had a final paper due in three days and spent 25 mins finding the above gif
If we won’t go to the gym or eat well for our health, or call our parents for their emotional sanity, we could at least better our own mental state by not leaving assignments until the night before, right? No, we can’t even do that. When you are given an assignment, and the due date feels so far away, it's easy to push the thought into the recesses of your mind and focus on more relevant things. Inevitably that assignment gets pushed back behind Snapple facts and the snarky phrase your frenemy said at lunch until you hardly remember it at all. Until 11am, when it's due at 2pm, and your whole word comes crashing down around you.
8. "I'm going to dress better"
*insert 80s movie montage music*
Although no one would ever guess based on what I wear, I think I have moderately good style. In my mind (key word being mind), I've constructed countless wonderful outfits, but when it's 9am and I got three hours of sleep, the last thing I want to think about is complimentary colors. You know the drill. Comfortability and warmth trump style every time. So forget dressing better. Here's a tip: dress comfortably and slouchy ninety percent of the time, and then every once in a while, maybe once a week, dress to the 9s. Contrast is key. If you dress nice everyday, the one day you don't dress nice people will gawk. If you dress hobo-y every day, people will just assume that's who you are, and then you blow them out of the water with your simple sweater and scarf combination. You'll get compliments all day, promise.
9. "I'm always going to text back"
You start off well. You even turn on read receipts. Read receipts!!! The ultimate way to hold yourself accountable for responding to messages once you read them. But then someone you hate texts you. Like really, really hate. And you decide that you won’t check their message at all, you will just read it in that swipe down bar thingy. But then you realize that’s a real possibility. You start reading all messages you don’t want to check that way. You feel an intense rush of power when someone questions why you have thirty unread messages. You start not responding to tons of messages just to get that little red number to increase. Thirty. Then fifty. Then one hundred. Then two hundred. You’re drunk with power. The power to prove how little you really care! In the end you have resolved nothing.
Your power must be destroyed
10. “This is the year that XY and I get into a relationship”
Far too many New Year's resolutions center around love interests. Don’t do this to yourself. Life is hard enough without being on bae-watch all the time (see what I did there? I’m proud of myself). Let me give you an example dear reader. My New Year's resolution in seventh grade was to talk to the super cute boy in my homeroom. I had it all planned out. I was going to start by sitting next to him and then simply wait until he realized his undying love for me and therefore strike up a conversation. Then, tragedy. Weeks and months went by and no confession (or even acknowledgement) on his part. I felt like a failure. I let all my other goals for the rest of the year fall to the wayside as I fangirled about a boy who obviously didn't know, nor wanted to know, anything about me. And this incredibly complex and heart-wrenching story (please try and stop crying so you can finish the rest of the article) just goes to show that resolutions that involve others, romantically or otherwise, can go horribly wrong. I suggest against them, for your own peace of mind. Or you could like, actively talk to someone you like instead of waiting in the wings for them to notice you. That works too.
Now that I think of it, maybe this list should be called, “The 10 New Years Resolutions You Aren’t Going To Keep but Probably Should.” Or Maybe: "The 10 New Years Resolutions You Aren't Going to Keep but if you did your life would be a lot better." Those are kind of long though.
Happy (belated) Holidays and New Years from The Boola! We hope that all your eggnog was spiked and that your family interactions weren't awkward!
Or that you at least took the appropriate measures to ensure the least amount of awkwardness possible. Alcohol = anti-elderly-relative's-racism/sexism/homophobia defense mechanism