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New year, same me

| Wednesday, January 18, 2023

I like the idea of New Year’s resolutions. No, in fact, I love them. I think New Year’s resolutions are a fantastic, nearly foolproof way to commit yourself to new goals. They improve productivity, promote ambition and summarily eliminate procrastination. Here are my top three favorite resolutions of all time!

Number 1. Go to the gym. The goal of consistently hitting the gym is a common goal to say the very least. I mean, every year everyone puts it on their list with a 100% success rate of following through. Everyone thinks they can be thinner, look better, so they immediately take up the discounted startup fee at their local commercial gym and begin the grind. I advise to start with social media, find your favorite fitfluencer’s “Get abs in 22 days” workout regimen, and plank to lose weight. Begin on Tuesday January 2, never January 1. That is a Monday. Are you crazy? Avoid lifting too heavy because it might make you too bulky. And in 22 days, you will have the summer body and be ready to hit the beach four months in advance. It is that easy!

Number 2. Eat healthier. Eat more salad because salad is healthy, right? Green is good. Reduce weekly dining hall cookie consumption from 14 to eight and opt for drinking an extra cup of water each day. Do note that calories consumed from Trader Joe’s snacks and Starbucks are negligible. Turn all your body’s fat into muscle by making these changes. It is that easy!

Number 3. Spend less time on the phone. Instead of mindlessly browsing TikTok for hours on end, browse Instagram for equal or slightly less duration. Make sure not to look at your phone immediately after waking up. Just wait until you are getting ready for the day, which is approximately ten minutes after. During the day, you ought to check your phone immediately only when your top three friends text you, as for everyone else, wait five minutes. If you make these small changes, you will reduce daily screen time from six hours to five hours. It is that easy!

Who wants to struggle to achieve their goals? Would it not be better for everything to be easy? It is easy as pie, and I love pie! Therefore, I love easy. And this is precisely the problem. 

Let me clarify my actual perspective on the “new year, new me” mentality: I do not hate it, just strongly dislike it, a lot. It is ridiculous to think that the changing of a year has any impact whatsoever on one’s obligations. And then to attach “resolutions” often accompanied by feigned determination and half-hearted conviction makes the situation even more ridiculous. Despite these strong words, I still think there is something redeemable about resolutions in general, so I offer a few revisions to the subject.

Be precise in your words. What is it specifically that you aim to do? If you want to improve your physical health, which many resolutions commonly cover, do not get lost in the realm of vague language. Going to the gym suggests a myriad of possibilities that may or may not pertain to working out: socializing with your workout partner, sitting on the hydromassage recovery machine, sipping on a Celsius while waiting for a bench, or getting a haircut (my hometown gym offers a barber). I advise you to be incredibly specific about your goal. Which exercises are you going to do on which days? How many minutes of cardio do you plan to do? Will my workout partner motivate and encourage me? Having these systems in place ensures your words have conviction.

Reject procrastination. If you are reading this article right now wondering how to stop procrastinating, stop reading this immediately, get up and do something — anything. The world is not made for procrastinators. It is reserved for people of action. Doers. Procrastination is the failure of one to control his or her mind, allowing one’s feelings or, in this circumstance, the changing of the year, to dictate actions. If you cannot control your own mind, then you are just a feather floating aimlessly through the world waiting to be carried from good times to bad times. Do what you are supposed to do, not what you feel. I am purposely severe about the subject of procrastination since people tend to justify or outright deny their culpability. It must be said. Get it done. 

Become an everyday resolutioner rather than a New Year’s resolutioner. Creating resolutions is a uniquely human phenomenon whereby dissatisfaction compels one to pursue something more. It speaks to the ubiquitous longing to succeed in every endeavor. By organizing your resolutions on a short-term scale, anywhere from daily to monthly, one can better confront a significant ambition such as weight loss. Given the shortened timeframe, you are nearly forced into being precise in naming out your goal. You cannot lose a great deal of weight in one day, but you can count your daily calories. Routinely practicing discipline with these short-term resolutions breaks the vicious cycle of repeating the same long-term resolutions each new year.  I believe in you, my fellow resolutioner. I believe that legitimate change is possible for you and me if we truly desire it. I believe that this message, thus far, was harshly worded, obnoxiously sarcastic but still bears undeniable truth. I have done all of this on purpose because 2023 is, in fact, our year. See what I did there. I will leave you with overused cliches that, nevertheless, have striking pertinence to the discussion of new year’s resolutions. Nothing worthwhile is ever easy.You can do anything as long as you put your mind to it. Never give up. New year, new me.

Jonah Tran is a first-year at Notre Dame double majoring in Finance and Economics and minoring in Classics. Although fully embracing the notorious title of a “Menbroza,” he prides himself on being an Educated Young Southern Gentleman. You can contact Jonah by email at [email protected]

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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