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New Year, New Mindset

We all fall victim to the exciting idea that a new year is a fresh start, a blank page 1 of 365, that January 1st can magically change our lives. We want to believe that simply revolving around the sun (one December to January transition) holds the spark to manifest greatness that would otherwise be too much effort to attempt.

Trust me, I’m not immune to this astronomical excuse.Every year I write out all my resolutions (to write every day, to save more money, to workout AT LEAST twice a week, to eat healthier…etc.). And every year, this lasts for a week–at best maybe a month–and then I fall back into old routines. They say old habits die hard and every year I feel like proof of the  living dead.

That is why this year I decided I need to try something different. Rather than focusing on who I want to become, I’m honing in, on who I am now. I’m currently obsessed with minimalism, which has translated to exclusively reading books on my kindle, donating tons of clothes (mostly unworn/ bought during a shopping-will-fix-everything binge) to local shelters, and trying to create more instead of mindlessly existing in front of screen, being “entertained” by Netflix orDisney+. (Although let’s be real, there is ALWAYS time for binge watching!)

I get so wrapped up in the ideas I have for what my life is going to look like in a year, three,five or even ten; that before I know it the year has passed me by and I’m asking myself “Did I really write this?” I’m a Virgo and I wholeheartedly embrace the stereotypes of being a type A planner: organization is my obsession, I have 3 different color-coded calendars, and my desk looks like a Staple’s aisle. But planning breeds routines that don’t necessarily lead to happiness.

Stepping into 2020, I plan to focus more on mindfulness and truly living each day with intention and a greater attention to being fully present. So far that looks like Marie Kondo’ing my social feeds, organizing my entire room (then reorganizing a couple times!), and trying to budget better. I want to focus on exploring places and events that inspire me and spark creativity. Instead of working and studying all week, followed by a weekend of self-congratulatory Netflix. I vow  to interlace my Saturday night binge sessions with exploration and adventures. I vow to write more and paint more and take more photos.

2020 is my year of self-discovery. My only tangible resolution for this year is to fully immerse myself in discovering who I am without all the distractions and external noise.I plan to use the Headspace app to meditate and to journal when I feel like it. I want to define myself outside of the context of others.

Challenge yourself to be unapologetically you this year. Allow yourself to change, fail, grow, and discover who you are at this point in your life. College and your twenties are the best time to learn more about the amazing person you are and start falling in love with what makes you, you. So make 2020 your best year yet, grow and learn, and be fully present. It’s your life, so live it!

Michaela Steele is a senior at ASU Online, studying Mass Communications with a Women&Gender Studies minor. Michaela enjoys writing, going to concerts, and binge watching David Attenborough documentaries. She aspires to work in music PR. She's passionate about intersectional feminism, discussing philosophy, and analyzing media. Feel free to reach her at: [email protected]
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