Photo Contribution by Serena Anagbe
The new year can be a great time for self-reflection and goal setting. Every January, that fresh first page of the calendar year inspires all kinds of resolutions and personal commitments. But when, for most of us, our pacts-with-self don’t make it past March, it’s curious that the tradition persists.
Laurier Brantford students are fairly divided on the matter of resolutions, but many still have goals of some sort for 2023.
“[Resolutions] are like the oldest trend out there that somehow everyone falls for every year,” says Rachel Gerrits, a fourth-year youth and children’s studies major.
“It’s great to want to change a habit or try a new lifestyle, but I believe you’ll be more successful with those goals if you do it on your own terms, and not because you feel like you need to have a goal to achieve.”
Instead of resolutions, Gerrits and her roommates made 2023 bingo prediction cards, which she says replaced some of the pressure of resolutions with humour and fun.
Others, like Aliya Kooistra, fourth-year Indigenous studies and youth and children’s studies major, still see the value in making resolutions.
“[The new year is] a good time to start a new chapter, reflect on your life and certain habits that you have,” says Kooistra, “but it takes dedication.”
Kooistra says her key word for the year is balance. Balance between work, school and having a social life, between eating healthy and enjoying foods she likes, and between doing things for herself and helping others.
“Our society in general is becoming so individualistic, and a lot of the time it’s like ‘me, me, me,’ so I just think that’s something I want to be cautious of—that balance of doing things for yourself, cause self-care is important, but also helping other people in need.”
Kooistra adds, though, that some resolutions are easier said than done.
“Ones that I always think about but never do [are to] exercise more and eat better.”
For Mohammad Abu-Rshaid, fourth-year forensic psychology student, the key to maintaining resolutions is to focus on broad goals rather than specific objectives. He suggests making “strategic goals with the intent of operationalizing it afterwards, without judgement.”
“You want to be kind to yourself, you want to be realistic, and you have to acknowledge that you may not reach perfection, and that perfection isn’t the goal,” says Abu-Rshaid.
One of Abu-Rshaid’s resolutions this year is simply to have more fun.
“Because of how busy my life is trying to achieve my own personal goals like graduating university and having good grades, et cetera, I noticed that I wasn’t having enough fun—I didn’t plan well enough to be able to have time for fun.”
It’s a goal that he says goes hand-in-hand with his other goal of putting himself out there more, especially after two and a half years of remote learning.
“When you make [your goals] complementary, you’re more likely to achieve not only one, but the combo,” says Abu-Rshaid.
His final word of advice: “Don’t judge yourself for not meeting your goal exactly. The point, in my perspective, of these goals is to improve—the journey is the goal, not the end stage itself.”