New Year’s Resolutions 2016


Have you seen the articles lately bemoaning the hopelessness of New Year’s resolutions, the impermanence, the you’re fooling yourself if you think you’ll actually stick to that?

Internet, you will not ruin this for me!

I like New Year’s resolutions.  I like them as I like new calendars and lists and fresh starts.  What’s more, I actually stuck to [some of] last year’s resolutions:

  1. Read: Yes, I read those 100 books.  Yes, I cut down on my computer time in order to do so.  Yes, I made a new reading goal.
  2. Write: Do GRE essays and graduate school application personal statements count?
  3. Run: There wasn’t a lot of running in 2015 (I don’t like running very much. Why do I keep trying to make myself do it?), but there was lots of walking.  Remind me to always live in a place where I can walk to work, to the grocery store, to the public library.
  4. Find: This was the most important resolution of the bunch, and I’m proud of myself for seeing it through.  I did find my next step in 2015: a Master’s degree in Early American History.

2015 was good (I’ll tell you how good soon), but 2016 — blessedly fresh year — has a new set of challenges.  And thus, a new set of resolutions:

  1. Make a budget spreadsheet and stick to it obsessively
    1. Obsessively.  That spreadsheet is your new best friend, Hol.
    2. Because in case you haven’t heard, graduate school can be expensive.  So can life when you’re prone to frequent spurts of book buying, for that matter.
    3. Curb the frequent spurts of book buying.  You have a library card, my friend.  You WORK in a library, my friend.
  2. Hang your artwork, dang it
    1. That photograph from the 1960s of your grandfather and great-uncle looking like Mad Men?  Frame it. Hang it.
  3. Be kind
    1. Be kind even when you don’t feel like it, even when you’re tired and cranky, even when you think it would benefit an entitled someone in the long run if you weren’t kind to them.
    2. Because you’re still thinking about that time in 8th grade when you told a classmate to her face — and in front of your entire religion class, I might add — that you didn’t like her and would never be friends with her.  Let’s not add to that burden of regret.
  4. Whine less
    1. Life is glorious.  You’re happy and healthy and your dearest ambitious are within sight.  What is there, really, to complain about?

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