2020 was certainly a long, trying year for everyone. That’s probably why it took me so long to remember that I wrote a series of articles about New Year’s Resolutions. I know it’s almost a month into the New Year, but I needed time to reflect and gather my thoughts. When the pandemic hit, all my “resolutions” were thrown out the window. Last year was about figuring out how to live the new normal. So, why should I revisit resolutions that I probably failed to meet?
In my initial explanation of the article series, I called these resolutions “reasonable promises to myself.” I didn’t want to force anything, but I had hoped that by writing these resolutions, others would hold me accountable. I don’t mean that someone would knock on my door and ask if I ate an apple that day. I had read that sometimes, posting about things makes a person feel obligated to do them. I’m resolved, yet sort of content, to admit that I didn’t keep as many promises to myself as I’d hoped to. So, I’m going to briefly walk through all of these promises.
My first promise was the Goodreads challenge. Since entering college almost four years ago, I’ve rarely had time to read for fun. (Yes, sometimes English majors don’t love the assigned readings either.) I had pledged to read 50 books. As you can tell by my Goodreads, I only hit 38. Honestly, that’s not too shabby. My reading periods were still sporadic as some months I read one book while others I hit more than five; however, I’m proud I was almost able to hit my goal.
I did make a 2021 Goodreads goal of 50 books. This year, I hope to hit it. Since all I did in January was read, I’m already 16 books in (I’m a very fast reader). I even wrote a couple of reviews for the first time ever. What I’ve learned, though, is that it doesn’t matter the quantity of books; the only thing that matters is that I enjoyed them. I fell in love with reading again, and I couldn’t be happier.
My writing, or my second promise, also improved significantly. Like reading, I had some sporadic months when I wrote a bunch or nothing at all. Writing for 30 minutes every day was an unrealistic goal. Did I write many articles for Her Campus at Geneseo and The Lamron and a few blog posts for Gandy Dancer? Yes! Did I hit over 17,000 words (despite hoping for 50,000) on my new novel idea during NaNoWriMo? H*ll yes! Did I submit my writing anywhere? Does one essay count?
If there’s one thing I wish I had done more of, it’s submitting my work. There’s a part of me that’s worried about whether my story is good enough. At some point, you have to kick it from the nest. If you’re a writer, you have to get used to rejection. Maybe if I submit more, I’d feel more comfortable receiving a no. There are a few places in particular I hope to submit to this year. Hopefully, I have the confidence to do so.
Finally, my last promise was self-care, which was almost impossible during a pandemic. I’ve been eating a bit healthier. I finally cut back on the soda. I know I can do better. I did a few virtual workouts and dance classes. It probably wasn’t enough. I was able to relieve a lot of stress because of how many movies and shows I watched since I was stuck in quarantine, but that didn’t help the other parts of this promise. My self-care promise is the one that I feel the most disappointed about. It’s also the one that I shouldn’t let get to me as much.
I thought a lot about whether I’d write more resolutions for 2021. I decided against it. I know what I want to work on. Change can’t happen overnight. I need to accept that. Instead, I heard about another way to make resolutions. All I need to do is choose one word. Selecting one word wasn’t as difficult as I believed it would be. I simply went with the first one that came to mind: perseverance.
Perseverance is the idea of pushing through life’s obstacles to achieve a goal. Oftentimes, the largest obstacle is yourself. I couldn’t comprehend succeeding at any of my 2020 New Year’s Resolution because I stood in my own way. Yes, there will be exterior challenges. As long as I know that I can do it and work hard, anything can be possible.
Although it’s a month in the year, I wish you all a safe, happy and healthy 2021. I hope you all continue to persevere.