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Every new year, I latch onto the unrealistic notion that I can instantly change my life once the calendar reaches January 1st. As if a switch flips and allows me to break old habits and fulfill new promises to myself. Once my effort to keep up with these shifts starts to waver, I become deflated and end up giving up. This year it can feel difficult to keep up with resolutions and rebranding due to the pandemic. I am trying to adapt to a new mindset to accomplish the personal goals that I have for myself. All while giving myself breaks so that I don’t throw out my plans after one slip-up.

[bf_image id="36gxgbxvmc4r36vm7v6qrp3w"] I keep myself accountable for my academic and lifestyle ambitions with lists! My Notes app is my best friend.  I create everything in the app from an overall and daily to-do list to a plan for the books I want to read and the birthday presents I want to buy for my friends and families. It puts my mind at ease to see the things I want to do in writing. The satisfaction of finishing a project provides a motivational kick to continue forward.

[bf_image id="2k2qmj86mt96fxx53jffvrw"] I am also trying to make switches to my daily life to keep myself from growing sick of the activities and workload. I spend most of my time in my house these days, so any small change to my schedule is important. These changes can involve trying a new exercise routine or cooking a new dish for my family. If I am lazy on a particular day or have a desperate need for a night of junk food and tv show binge-watching, I give myself those breaks. I used to feel guilty after taking an afternoon nap because I compared myself to other students and their endless grind. But at the end of the day, I know myself and what I need to live my best life! I’m focusing on my growth through the methods that work for me. By believing that I can stay consistent in my goals for the year and my Notes app in tow, I think I’ll be alright.

Zara Fatteh is a sophomore at University of California, Davis studying International Relations and Spanish. She enjoys traveling with her family, trying new restaurants, and reading as much as she can.
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