New Year Resolutions


With the first three months of the year gone, let us look back at how these months went ahead for us and what will the rest of the year have in store for us.

In the blink of an eye, I remember dosing off to sleep at 4 a.m. on 1st January, after all the New Year wishes were attended to, and now as the fourth month of this year has started, I simply wonder how and where did these three months go.

The first trimester of the year, for any student of University of Delhi (DU) is absorbed in the fest season, either in attending it or as a participant running every other day for competitions in some or the other hosting college. The intensity of the course takes a back seat with the incessant strikes, which we callously enjoy, without truly acknowledging their purpose.

I would like to ask a simple question- all of us make resolutions, but, do we even stick to them? While I genuinely don’t believe in the concept of making resolutions particularly when the calendar flips the date to 01/01, I believe any time can be the perfect time to turn over a new leaf. Without digressing further, let me get back to my question. What is the strategic realism to these resolutions, as I feel hardly a few make it past the first week of their marked promises, before narrowing back to their old lifestyle. Annie Rana, a literature student of Maitreyi College feels, “The fact that every week, month or situation asks out of us different ways to react or behave, so keeping resolution as a sole means to discipline, won’t really help.”

As every year has something or the other in it, something to look forward to, 2019 has so far witnessed a lot in these three months. Talking about the personal, national and the international front, we have faced a tough three months to begin with, and while the next trimester has already started, the election fury will reign over as the midtown madness this summer. The next trimester will look forward to ‘voting for the first time’ for a majority of us, or having to take career related choices, or entering a new path of life, every demarcation of the calendar has been split with a beautiful finesse.

“Every month, I track my growth. Some acts are bound to be childish, but I tend to see a progression in the maturity,” says Heena, a student of Maitreyi College as she looks at her journey in 2019 so far. To map out your journey is a really important thing and when most of us miss out on this, a sense of existential crisis hits us. To look back when I started college, the change from 2017 to 2019, not just as a big bracket of 730 days, but as the mental growth which chartered into me is also something which can be represented as a progressing draft, in the fourth quadrant!

The sentiment that each year holds is also important. As I look at the batch which will graduate this year, 2019 marks as this primal year which will witness a major change in them, and while the three months which buzzed past us, have gone, the sinking of them in the memory and action won’t. It was a series of lasts. Talking to my seniors I could figure out how every competition, every fest, every department activity associated with the college, would be their last, and with that emotion flaring in, the efforts, the smile and the hidden tears were a mixed bag of emotions through the entire three months. As this month will go ahead as the ‘vidaai’ or the farewell time for them, the bucket-full of memories they take on with them is sublime.

To 2019 so far, you haven’t been particularly kind, and I don’t expect you to get sweet and mellow, anytime soon. Conclusions are sweeter, cathartic. I have been exhausted and drained completely, and in these three months, the motivation has been sucked out of me, too bad the exams are right around the corner. As the summer will settle in with the hope of getting off a daily routine, i.e. college, I will find a relief (I suppose so),  from the experience which was- the daily running to Sadar Bazaar, as the department and college fests lined up, being on the phone 24×7, for sponsorships, scripting my real conversations as well! To not being able to take time out with the friends and sit in the comfort or solace of each other like we do as a routine, to finding the infinitesimal balance between studies, society, interning and working in a media house, to forming mental ticks in my mind as the work load started gliding away, one after the other, swiftly, to sitting back and sipping tea in nostalgia and having the worst phase of constant bouts of low self-esteem and worth, to finding the phase of confidence back, I can say these three months took a lot from me and gave me back a bitter sweet collection of everything.

To 2019, I promised myself this year will be a sole devotion to travel and exploration- the physical and the mental aspect of this duality. And as every month, a new travel destination finds its spot in my heart and I set forth to plan it out, every place I visit, makes a spiritual connection within me and with this hope, the year will progress with its own set of ups and downs which I will look forward to with an open heart.

Image credits: DU Beat

Avnika Chhikara

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There is nothing that can match the feeling of entering a New Year with the fierce determination to change bad habits and improve as an individual. However, for most us, this motivation lasts for only for a couple of weeks. Are there any specific mistakes that can be avoided while forming our New Year’s resolution in order to ensure we meet our desired goals?

  1. Self-Efficacy- This term coined by Psychologist Albert Bandura, can be defined as “how well one can execute courses of action required dealing with prospective situations.” Self-efficacy is our own assessment of whether we can achieve a particular goal or not. Years of research has proved that people with high self-efficacy, i.e., those with greater faith in their abilities are able to accomplish more. The link between self-efficacy and achievement is strong. It is, therefore, essential that you have faith in yourself. If you think you are someone who doubts themselves too much, this would be a good place to analyse your personal thought process, recognise unhealthy patterns, and deal with them effectively. Attached at the bottom of this article is another piece on how to improve self-efficacy.
  2. Avoid the all-or-none approach- The all-or-none approach is a thought of mind which means that we would do either do everything right or do nothing at all. A good example of this all-or-none approach is – planning to work out every day of the week but scrapping the whole workout plan of working out if you the first time you skip the first day at the gym. workout. The all-or-none approach is essentially failing on purpose. Habits are formed over a long period of time and changing them overnight is impractical. Quitting the first time you fail, or setting up expectations where you believe you would never fail is a dangerous path to tread, that is destined for failure. Accepting that you will slip up at times and to keep going after that is essential to break the all-or-none approach. Setting up realistic goals, cheat days, and breaks are ways in which you can make your resolution more achievable.
  3. Identify your weaknesses and push them aside – The best way to avoid mistakes is to identify and combat the stimulants that prompt bad habits. Do you binge-eat after you skip lunch? Are you late for college because did not wake up on time? Did you not wake up on time because you were up till 2:00 a.m. scrolling on your phone? We are most likely to break our resolutions and fail in such moments of weakness. Therefore, identifying patterns that lead to problematic behaviour and dealing with those beforehand reduces the probability of slipping up. It is important to remember that despite all this planning and strategising there will still be days when we will deviate from the plan and make mistakes. The key is to not give up on the effort but learn from the said mistakes.
  4. Plan ahead and make a time-bound plan- A New Year resolution must never be vague. Just like a goal without a plan is just a dream, similarly, a resolution without a plan is just wishful thinking. Simply making a resolution along the lines of- “I will start working out” is not good enough because it is very vague. You must set up specific goals about your exercise routine.
    If you set up a particular resolution, be clear with yourself regarding two things. First, why do you want to do achieve any goal? Second, how do you intend to go about it?  A time-bound plan, i.e., setting up milestones that you wish to achieve beforehand would be an excellent way to ensure that you have something to motivate you and look forward to once the initial excitement dies down.
  5.  Set-up cues for small habits- Smaller lifestyle changes like a good skincare routine, keeping your room organised, and staying hydrated can be easily incorporated into our routine with the help of small “cues”. These cues will act as signals that will remind us of the little adaptations that we need to make. Examples of such cues could be- “I will wear sunscreen every day after I moisturise” or “Every time I feel the urge to consume caffeine, I will drink at least 250 millilitres of water first.” Seemingly insignificant good habits like folding your laundry, staying hydrated, wearing sunscreen, and writing in your journal 10 minutes a day before sleeping can have an immensely positive impact on our physical and mental health.

The most beautiful thing about the New Year is that it provides us the opportunity to appreciate the past year and think of ways to grow in the upcoming year. Resolutions should not stem from fear or insecurity, but from a desire to grow and become a better version of ourselves. Confidence, conscientiousness, a desire to grow, and a little help from the aforementioned points is all we need to make our New Year resolutions to work.


Image Credits- ET Online

Kinjal Pandey