Ask Ainsley, Student Life

Ask Ainsley: How to maintain your New Year’s resolutions in three easy steps

Dear Ainsley, 

It is January 15th and already I have given up on my New Year’s resolution. I woke up on January 1st with a smile so wide it practically fell off my face, ready to tackle 2024. Goodbye eating cheese puffs for breakfast and watching Drew Monson every Friday night. Goodbye writing fan fiction, hello writing the next War and Peace. Goodbye to standing on the corner of the street and watching people work out through the gym windows, hello to actually going to the gym and watching them from the inside. My future was looking so bright! Alas, here we are again. I feel like the same person I was on December 31st, watching Anderson Cooper get drunk in Times Square while drinking expired eggnog mix and crying tears of pure sorrow. What should I do?

Please help, 

Grimy Grace 

Hello Grimy Grace,

We all face the ever-present challenge of not keeping up with our New Year’s resolutions. If you want to be relieved of this gut-wrenchingly guilty feeling, it is vital to remember that time is an arbitrary concept—the new year doesn’t actually change much about you. That being said, on the morning of Jan. 1, my pet parakeet was quite aware of the intricacies of the Gregorian calendar and insisted that I get up and stop being so lazy.  

Here are some of my tips for staying motivated and accomplishing your New Year’s resolutions. 

Staying unplugged

The Metaverse, Facebook Marketplace, Instagram reels of cake disguised as turtles—we are all wired to the internet, the infamous “World Wide Web” as they like to call it. Avoiding distractions from our machines is difficult as we have to constantly use them for school, work, and looking up our horoscopes. My way of staying off my phone is to take so many selfies of myself that I don’t have enough storage to do anything else. I also supplement time that could be spent doing fun things (playing Fortnite), with other more productive things on my phone, such as watching Ted Talks about the meaning of the universe, and listening to two minutes of a podcast so I can tell people that I am someone who listens to podcasts.  

Going to the gym 

A common New Year’s resolution is going to the gym. However, the gym isn’t for everyone. My recommendation is to find a sport or activity that truly makes you happy, such as aqua aerobics. Often going to the gym can seem daunting, as you will be stared down by 14-year-olds sporting unusually large biceps. However, no one will judge you in aqua aerobics. And you are sure to make friendships that last a lifetime (at least, last their lifetime)!

Loving yourself and having other people love you

All jokes aside, self-respect and acceptance are important any time of the year. But how do you get other people to accept a kind of flawed and weird person (no offence, Grace)? Surround yourself with people who make you feel good about yourself. For me, this is my friend Sheela Na Gig. She is there with me through it all. When you feel supported by other people, you are more likely to have confidence in completing your goals. 

I hope this advice helps, and remember that just because two weeks have passed since the daunting strike of the clock at midnight does not mean it is too late! Everyone can become the best versions of themselves if they put their mind to it.

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