Is it too late to write about New Year’s resolutions?
We all know that I have a complicated history with resolutions. I had very little success keeping my 2016 resolutions, and I hope you’ll be happy to hear that I utterly thrived over the past year, having set absolutely no resolutions at all. On a personal level, 2017 was the best year of my life so far.
That’s great, Katie. So you’re sticking with not making resolutions?
If you recall, the main reason that I did not set resolutions last year was to allow myself to focus on the day-to-day of settling into my new life in Berlin, and all the little victories associated with simply keepin’ on keepin’ on. It was not a reflection of how much growing I had left to do.
And boy, do I have growing to do.
This year, it’s back to the grindstone of personal development. I’ve been honest with myself, and identified some areas of my life that I want to make changes in. As usual, these are around my health. I was extremely successful in 2015 at cutting down on my meat consumption, so successful in fact that I have been going strong as a non-meateater for over two and a half years. In that time I have become aware that I am moderately lactose intolerant, and my admiration for the vegan movement has grown. I don’t wish to turn vegan overnight, as I’m not sure yet what my ultimate goals for my diet are, but what I do know is that I want to move closer to veganism on the spectrum.
I’ve been trying for the past few months to choose plant-based meals more often, and to stay away from dairy in all forms, but I have been finding the whole venture quite hard to track. At the end of the day when I ask myself did I eat vegan today, the answer is usually “almost, if I had just not eaten that one thing.”
In the interest of really, truly figuring out what I want on my plate, I need rules.
In addition to this, I’ve noticed a trend with myself over the past year (and more) where I say I’m going to do things “soon”, and then suddenly it’s three months later and I still haven’t done the thing. Maybe this is familiar to you. Maybe this is what getting older feels like, as I am becoming increasingly concerned about how I am allowed to roam unsupervised through a world that frequently requires timeliness and bureaucracy. I hope to get better at accomplishing the things I have to do, but for now I want to focus on this problem as it relates to the things I want to do.
Specifically, I want to read more and I want to watch more. And, for the first time in my life, I do not mean fiction.
I feel like I’m finally finding my groove in academics, and much to my (and my mother’s) delight, I am now positive that I am going to finish my degree. In order to make it the best it can be, I want to go deeper. I want to learn more outside of university, and to grow my understanding of my interest areas.
To avoid finding myself another year older without having even started on this quest, I need rules.
So, now that you’re all filled in on the back-story, here are my resolutions for 2018:
- Read 3 books on economics
one to be Ireland-centric, one to be US-centric
- Read 3 books on gender / sexuality / feminism
not necessarily one on each
- Read 1 German-language book
this one can (and probably will) be fiction
- Watch 10 documentaries
conspiracy-theory stuff is hangover TV and doesn't count!
- Keep my GPA above 2,0
this is German grading, and translates roughly to above a 2.1
- Eat vegan 2 days a week
Mondays and Fridays
- Eat dairy only 2 days per week
Saturdays and Sundays
- Only buy cruelty-free makeup
...and start trying to expand this to other product types, too
- Do Pilates 2 days per week
Wednesdays and Fridays
- Journal all year
until January 2019 (at least)
These resolutions feel achievable to me, especially as I’ve been talking about all of this for a while. None of this is inspired by anybody else’s goals, none of it is something I only half-want to do, and it’s all in the interest of becoming a better version of myself.
I’m interested to see how I grow from this, how my diet changes, and how my knowledge branches out. This is where the final resolution comes in — to journal all year means that I can look back and see my progress in real time, and hopefully hold myself accountable.
I’m very excited for this year for a number of reasons that I’m eager to share on here soon, and I feel like these goals set exactly the right tone.
Have you set resolutions for 2018? How do they compare to goals you’ve set in the past, and how do they tie in to your vision of your best self? Let me know!
And whether you plan your improvements out or not, I hope your 2018 will be full of personal growth and happiness.