Nerd Year’s Resolutions 2014
Nerd Year’s Resolutions 2014
By: Meg Humphrey
I read an interesting blurb on tumblr about why New Year’s Resolutions are detrimental to people (I think it was on Wil Wheaton’s tumblr). The gist was that people make these vague life improving decisions (“save more money,” “lose weight,” “change careers”), but because they’re unspecific people fail to meet them and it makes them feel worse about their lives because they are convinced they didn’t improve. It seems silly to base self worth in December on what you said you’d do in January, but I understand the sentiment. How many years in a row can someone say to themselves “this will be the year I drop 20 pounds!” before they get so discouraged that they give up altogether? That they convinced themselves they’re incapable of changing their lives? New Year’s Resolutions are supposed to be inspirational, not harmful. How can we improve on this tradition?
I’m a person who loves themes (New Year’s Eve in my apartment was wampa themed) and to-do lists. I figured these are two things I can adapt to the usual New Year’s Resolution game. Rather than some ill-defined objectives, I made a to-do list for the year (which can be broken down into monthly and weekly to-do lists) of specific goals that fit under one overarching theme: “Here Comes the Smolder.”
I admit that I may have watched Tangled too many times in 2013 (this will probably not change), but I’m convinced that “Here Comes the Smolder” is the right direction for this year new. What in the world does that mean and how do you do it? Basically, you should strive to always put your best work and best face forward. Focus on things that make you feel confident and accomplished whether it’s fitness, expanding your knowledge of the Star Wars Expanded Universe, or getting a new job. But even these slightly better worded goals are vague and ambiguous. Break them down even more. Some of my fitness goals are maxing out the leg press at my gym (I’m at 285# and it goes up to 300# – SO CLOSE!), doing an unassisted pull up, and running a 5k. I want to read all of New Jedi Order and write a series of blogs on female characters in the Star Wars EU. I’m going to revise my resume and look at job listings every week. I’m going to put $200 into my vacation savings fund every month. These are yes-I-did-this or no-I-didn’t-do-this tasks which are stepping stones to the bigger picture. Checking them off is rewarding and satisfying.
This way, I think, is more along the mindset of “I’m going to be better”rather than “I’m going to be perfect.” Outside of exam scores or proper exercise form, I don’t believe that perfect is something people should work for because it is unforgiving if not met, but somehow the idea of perfect always changes before you get there. It’s not about perfect – it’s about self confidence and self love (I don’t think these are contradictory – you can love yourself and still want to improve, change, and grow). Every item you can check off, even the smallest ones – like wearing an outfit to work that makes you feel beautiful, builds the positive feelings you should have about yourself. Taking a bubblebath once a week or posting more selfies on Instagram are perfectly acceptable goals if they make you feel good. Don’t forget that this is entirely about you and your feelings! So if you feel like writing down some things you want to happen for yourself in 2014 (and I do think they need to be written down somewhere – even in an email saved in your drafts folder), pick a theme, start small, and focus on specific tasks that will bring you contentment!