1. the act of resolving or determining upon an action, course of action, method, procedure, etc.

2. a resolve; a decision or determination


New Year’s Resolution

1. a declaration of a complete life turn-around on January 1st filled with healthy and efficient activities that are all abandoned on January 6th


New Year’s Resolutions are a fairly divisive subject: every January everyone is either making them or talking about how useless they are. Who do you know who completed their New Year’s Resolution, anyway?

I tend to fall into the camp of pro-resolution: I really enjoy making goals for myself, no matter what the time frame (and what better clean slate than a New Year?). However, there are some issues with New Year’s Resolutions: in my opinion, the biggest problem is the obsession with a “clean slate.” That can be a great motivator, but way too many people take that as an artificial requirement for meeting a goal. If someone messes up their goal right away-- which everyone does, repeatedly-- a lot of people have the tendency to just throw up their hands and say “oh well, maybe next year!” Change doesn’t work like that. Just because you ate a cheeseburger doesn’t mean you’ll never develop healthy eating habits-- it just means you ate a cheeseburger. Have a more balanced meal tomorrow, it’s fine.

That’s my main mission of 2016: to eat the more balanced meal tomorrow. You know, metaphorically. And occasionally literally, when I eat pizza for two meals of the day. (Hello, college.)

You may be a little confused by this entire discussion, since it is not the New Year and is, in fact, March. I mean, I made New Year’s Resolutions in January, but I didn’t have a blog back then. Today I’ll be listing my resolutions and checking in on how well I’ve done over the past two months.

1. Aspiring Robot

2. Write a book for a musical

3. Keep all grades at B+ or above

4. Continue practicing Mandarin Chinese

5. Exercise 3 times a week

6. Eat “cleaner”

7. Stick to a budget

8. Set up a formal checkpoint system

9. Read 12 books

10. Go somewhere I’ve never been/do something I’ve never done every month

1. My first goal is the entire Aspiring Robot project. Since I’m still experimenting with exactly what schedule I want to have for this, my resolution is just to be actively producing content for AR at the end of the year. In the past two months I’ve created the website, written two blog posts, launched my first podcast, and released a dozen or so word art pieces. I think we can count that as a good start.

2. My other creative goal is to write a book for a musical.  The book is the story and script, but not the music and lyrics.  I adore musicals but I have no background in any kind of music theory or composition, so my goal for this year is just to write the book.  This I’ve barely worked on at all, but I’m intending to most of the work on this over the summer-- there’s not a lot of time during school, especially with all of my Aspiring Robot work now.

3. However, my main path in life is still being a full-time student.  My goal for this year is to keep all of my final grades as B+ or above, which the majority of my grades for the past three semesters have been. So far it seems like I’m doing well on this-- we’ll see what happens in the next two months of the semester!

4. Going along with the academics, this semester is my fourth semester of Mandarin Chinese, which I am not good at (but I could survive in China, which is a cool ability).  I really love the language but I’ve decided to not continue taking it after this semester so I have time to fulfill my graduation requirements. After I finish my formal Chinese education, I want to continue studying it so I don’t lose what I’ve learned. I’m currently still in the course and have been studying it as class moves along, so I think I get automatic points for this.

5. My main health goal is to start exercising at least three times a week.  I am very out of shape and at the end of last semester, my roommate convinced me agree to running a 5K with her in the spring. (I guess the other half of this resolution is to run a 5K.) This hasn’t been going as well-- I hardly exercised at all for the first six weeks, but now I’ve found a time that works better for me and have had a considerable uptick in exercise frequency. We’ll see if this keeps up when I check in next.

6. Going along with health resolutions, this is very vague, but I am trying to eat cleaner.  I am a vegetarian and a lot of my diet ends up being variations of cheese and bread, which is not the healthiest choice out there, so I am going to try to eat real food!  With more iron content!  Although I’m still not a super healthy eater (hello, college), I have been eating better than I did last semester.

7. This year I would like to make a budget.  I’ve always been pretty good about saving and having enough money to buy stuff I really want, but the world in which I have to pay for my own housing and groceries is getting closer, and I think this is the year I should start formally budgeting so I’m somewhat prepared for post-college sadness. So far, I’ve been following my budget pretty well.

8. I am also trying to set up a formal checkpoint system.  I find that I tend to completely lose track of myself in the day-to-day grind and all of a sudden it’s three months after I said I’d do something and I have not started.  I’m thinking it’s going to a short weekly and a longer monthly checkpoint just to look at what I’ve been doing and if I’m doing what I want to be doing. I have been using the checkpoint system almost every week so far in 2016, and it has encouraged me to keep up with consistent journaling as well.

9. Read 12 books: I have read two books this year so far, which I intend to write blog posts about in the next few weeks: Welcome to Night Vale and You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost). However, I read both of those over winter break-- I’ve only finished one chapter of the book I’ve been reading this semester.

10. Go somewhere I’ve never been/do something I’ve never done once a month.  I have the advantage of living in a city so there are lots of options: museums I want to visit, buses that go to cities not far away that I have never visited— so once a month, whether it’s something down the street I’ve never been to or an entirely different country, I want to be exploring new places. In January I experienced a lot of new things, since I was in New York City for two weeks. I visited the Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Natural History, and The Strand Bookstore, and ate at Ellen’s Stardust Diner. In February, I joined a singing group on campus. (Even though I can’t sing. Haha oops...)

I’m going to check in at the halfway point of the year to look at my New Year’s Resolutions again and report on how I’m doing. Until then, wish me luck!