Oberlin Blogs

New Year's Resolutions

January 15, 2022

Charlize Villasenor ’23

I feel that in recent years, more people have developed strong opinions about New Year's Resolutions. Some say they aren’t easy to stick to and easily lead to disappointment, and some people swear by them and the impact that starting fresh in a new year has. I personally haven’t been one for setting resolutions in recent years. I would set goals for myself at the beginning of each semester, but never set new year's resolutions because I felt that a year was too long to promise myself I’d stick to something. I decided to change that this year. My outlook on resolutions also changed and helped me realize that they’re possible to stick to if I make the foundation for that to be possible.

The bulleted list I made of my resolutionsFirst, I want to talk about how I chose what I wanted to include in my resolutions. There are some things that people know are generally good for health or life, and those often make the list of resolutions just because of that. This includes things like losing weight, reading more books, and saving money. I can’t speak for others, but I wanted my goals to have a deeper meaning than just “I want this,” so I decided to think about the impact that meeting my goals would have on my daily life. I built my resolutions off of things I’ve already done and how they have made me feel and have improved my life already. I’ve seen different ways of doing this on platforms like TikTok such as brain-dumping/goal-dumping, reducing goal-lists to 3 main goals, and other various methods, so there are different ways of listing intentions for the year. Once I listed my goals and my reasoning for them, I decided I wanted a daily reminder of these goals, so I made a collage (some might call it a vision board) with photos to represent my goals so I could set it as my lockscreen. I used a template so this collage included some affirmations. I figured having this set as my lock screen would be a helpful reminder of what I’m working towards.

A collage with photos representing my New Years resolutions

Now that I’ve talked about the thought process, here are my goals for 2022!

  • Graduate Early - I will go into much deeper detail in a later post, but I have a chance at graduating early! It’s still dependent on whether I pass my classes (obviously) and if I’m able to take classes at another university over the summer and transfer them. My reasoning behind this goal was to save money and time. I have already completed all my institutional requirements and only have 2 classes left in my degree plan, so why not try and finish it out before the year ends?
  • Visit New York City - In spring of 2020, at the beginning of the pandemic, I wrote a tweet saying I would visit New York City, Los Angeles, and Atlanta within the following two years. This specific tweet was part manifestation and part promise to myself. In 2021 I visited Los Angeles twice and Chicago twice, and I felt that these opportunities presented themselves to me, so I want to continue being open to travel opportunities in the new year. My reasoning behind this goal specifically is because I have never been to New York City before (whereas I’ve been to Atlanta twice in high school), I have friends who live in the city who I’d love to visit, and it has been my goal in recent years to find the city or place where I want to live after I graduate.
  • Visit Mexico - Though Mexico wasn’t originally in my travel manifestations tweet, I’ve decided that it’s time for me to go there. My family is from Mexico and I live on the border, but I’ve never had the opportunity to visit. I want to spend my 20s traveling and I have never left the country, so I figure that Mexico is a good place to start. This goal could go in so many directions because of my proximity to Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, my familial relation to the state of Zacatecas, or even my willingness to see whatever I can. Ultimately, this depends largely on COVID variants and waves, but I have 3 Pfizer shots in me so that might help make international travel a bit easier. 
  • Stick to My Gluten-Free Diet - In January 2021 I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. This means I can’t eat anything with gluten or I run the risk of getting sick in both the short and long run. I stuck to my diet pretty well for the first half of the year, but started to be less consistent with it around my birthday and the weeks that followed. Once I stopped eating gluten my energy levels increased, my mood improved, and I just felt better overall, so I knew I had to recommit myself to my gluten-free lifestyle so I could feel and do my best this year.
  • Lift More - I’ve lifted on and off since I was 14, but I’ll admit I was most consistent when I was 16-17. Now that I’m in college, sometimes it can be a struggle to make time for my workouts and I feel that my priorities have changed over time. I used to care much more about what my physique looked like and about consistently hitting personal records, but I’ve realized that those aren’t what bring me back to lifting whenever I stop for a while. At the end of the day, I love lifting because of the way it makes me feel; it improves my concentration and regulates my sleep, so I’m ready to be more consistent with it and integrate it into my life more.
  • Learn to Drive - This might sound weird if you come from a city where cars are the primary mode of transportation, but there are so many students at Oberlin who don’t know how to drive. Sadly, I’m one of those people, but I’m hoping to change that this year! I figured I could get through my teenage years without learning how to drive (and I did), but I feel like I’m getting closer to being an actual adult now and I find it fairly important I learn how to drive this year, especially as I’ll be graduating in the next year or year and a half. This will also expand where I can go and what I can do by myself, so I’m especially committed to getting my driver’s license this year!
  • Go to a Concert - Concerts are easily one of my favorite events to attend, but sadly COVID caused many concerts in 2021 to be canceled or postponed. I’m sure there will be plenty of opportunities to attend concerts in 2022 as I’ve noticed some of my favorite artists announcing and going on tour, it’s just a matter of choosing concerts that have less people in attendance or are in open well-ventilated spaces. I’m hoping to catch the Farruko concert in Cleveland, but if not I know there will be other concerts in the area. I was able to see Flo Milli at Solarity last year, so I’m excited to see who the Solarity committee chooses to bring for the spring semester concert. 
  • Declutter Room - This is a bit self-explanatory. I feel like I’ve been accumulating things like clothes, trinkets, photos, and more over the last few years, so it feels time to toss what is no longer near and dear to my heart. I am also the type to overpack everytime I fly, so hopefully this will help make packing easier. I feel like a decluttered space helps facilitate a decluttered mind, so this resolution is about making my life a little easier.
  • Be Well-Rested - I feel like this phrase is so vague, but ultimately it’s a goal that I want to really put effort into. The difficult thing about it is that it’s an ongoing process, and feeling well-rested one week won’t ensure I feel well-rested the next week, so it’ll be something I have to continually think about. There’s so many components that can help me feel more rested such as taking my vitamins, exercising more, going to sleep and waking up at regular times, and others, so I’m willing to do a combination of these things so I can figure out what helps me feel my best.
  • Read More - My final resolution. I feel like it’s a common resolution, but it’s so important for various reasons. I always feel accomplished and like I have a better understanding of the world around me after I finish a book. I don’t want to set a goal of reading a certain number of books this year because I’m afraid it’ll take the fun out of reading for me, so I’ll set my intention simply to read more and enjoy reading again. I have had a small stack of books waiting to be read, so I’m excited to finally get to them. I’m currently reading How To Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy by Jenny Odell and I’m about 75% done, so I’d say this resolution is going especially well so far. 

And that wraps up my resolutions for the year. I can’t promise that I’ll stick with all of these or force myself to continue the ones that don’t seem feasible, but I’m hoping that these resolutions will help guide me through the year and improve specific aspects of my life. Perhaps my last post (if I graduate early) will be about how well I stuck to my resolutions and the impact they had on my year. Either way, I hope this post inspires you to think about what you want for yourself in the coming year, whether you choose to set goals, resolutions, or simply intentions. I hope you have a happy new year and a joyful 2022.

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