Ironically, my New Year’s Resolution was to have none. What I mean by this is that I didn’t want to pressure myself into creating resolutions under the guise of ‘New Year, New Me’ rhetoric which often pressures people to lose weight or take up habits they will eventually drop three weeks into the new year. Before December rolled around I knew there were certain things I wanted to change but I hadn’t worked out how by the fateful night of the 31st. So I realised that exactly when I figured it out was arbitrary and carried on.
Eventually I did decide to pick up some new habits and make some changes. But instead of cutting out chocolate overnight or forcing myself to work out everyday, I decided not to pressure myself and take it slow. The things I wanted to change were caring more for myself whilst setting out positive habits. I think of these as ‘Anti-New Year’s Resolutions’ as they aren’t the kind of self-punishing rhetoric we often see.
In short, I made sure to do things often that I knew I enjoyed and/or were good for me generally. These include: yoga, crochet, reading, baking and infrequent exercise. The key to this for me was setting really realistic, flexible goals. I use a website called Notion to track my habits and set out to do yoga 5 times a week, read 6 days a week and do strenuous exercise 3 days a week. If I don’t manage this, that’s ok too. I think it’s all about listening to your needs as a practice of self care. For me, years of school had instilled an anxiety in me to always be doing as much as possible which I needed to break free from.
Now, I read almost everyday, whether that’s 10 pages or 40, what matters is that I took the time to do something for myself that I enjoy just for me. Nowadays, social media is inundated with ‘side-hustle’ rhetoric and productivity hacks, but I challenge you, and myself to break free of the need to be ‘productive’ and enjoy your day truly and utterly for yourself.
– Yzzy (Fourth Year English Literature and Hispanic Studies)