The whole “New Year-new me” thing that everyone makes fun of, in a way, ridicules resolutions. For the longest time I thought that resolutions were stupid too, how can you just decide to be something else when you wake up on New Year’s Day? Well, it occurred to me a while back that resolutions don’t have to mean that you change everything about yourself and become a new person overnight, which is probably why I failed at fulfilling my resolutions for many years. I have tried, too hard, to fix too many things about myself at once. I learned, through time, that resolutions can be tiny improvements that you decide to work on throughout the span of a year. It really does not have to be anything drastic at all.
My first New Years resolution was made in 2014. Looking back at myself now, I can say that I have become a very different person than I was in high school, and it all started with the influence of a friendship that started in sophomore year. Being around this person made me realize how much I wanted to be less of a mess, and more well put together and calm, like him. The first thing I identified about myself that was causing problems in my life, was my temper. The way my idol carried himself in a calm and cool manner made me realize that a lot of the unhappiness in my life was created by no one other than me, because I just couldn’t calm down about anything, which would make situations seem so much worse in my head than they actually were. I remember studying with my friend and becoming outrageously irritated and giving up when I could not get something memorized, while he stayed calm and kept practicing different ways to remember a chart in our AP psychology workbook. In the end, he was able to remember the information and and I was not. Although this is a small representation of one of the many things he taught me throughout the years, it is something I hung onto, because after getting my exam back and realizing how many points were taken off for that question, I kept asking myself, “Why didn’t I keep practicing it?”
And the answer was, because I didn’t have any patience.
Even though it was nowhere near New Year’s resolution making time (it was around April), I decided to catch myself every time I became irritable or impatient, and instead, think about how much I wanted to be an amazing person like my friend. Although it’s been so many years since that one little incident, and many bigger ones that I now realize have been had a lasting impact, I still catch myself being impatient at times, but far less than I used to. There is no more snapping left and right. Resolutions do not have to mean that you must have one goal at the beginning of the year and perfect yourself in a span of 365 days, it could be something that you plan to fix on a whim or something that you plan on working on as a long term investment for yourself. Even though I made this resolution for myself in 2014, I have did not begin working on it, fully, until around 2016. It was at this time I started noticing that, even though I was calmer at home and at school, my temper was still finding ways to create problems. So, I am still working on my temper but knowing that I have the flexibility of not having to fit improving myself in the span of one year, or some arbitrary time-frame, is part of the reason why I have been able to improve so much and I know that I will continue to become more patient in time.
What inner changes have you been working on?
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