On the other extreme is me. It's only taken me a semester to drive my side of the dorm room into such a state that I'm worried about inviting people in (but I can't clean it, I'd never know where anything is if i did). Most things I do are last minute, and go completely forgotten if I don't set an alarm on my phone to remind me. If I remember to set an alarm at all. I tend to live my life vertically, obsessing in-depth about a problem and losing any sense of time. My sister, with her careful timelines and resulting prolific output of art, lives horizontally. We both feel resulting senses of accomplishment in our work--but we arrive at that very differently.
My methods have always made it difficult for me to keep New Years Resolutions. In one sense, I find it hard to "exercise every day" when the lines between days blur together in a mess of projects. Ambiguous deadlines like "read 20 books next year" have even less hope.
But the deeper problem I find--and the main benefit of keeping your resolutions--is that I don't feel like I have enough control over my life to make them happen. Time gets away from me--and in my heart it feels like an agent I can't control, that I'm not good enough to overcome. Interestingly enough, despite her calculations, my sister also feels this same self-doubt. Her planning gives her extra insight into how few hours there are in a day, and how she isn't smart or creative enough to balance everything.
Of course, this isn't true. I wouldn't be in college if I couldn't prioritize, or couldn't pull through when it was necessary. My sister is one of the most dedicated and productive people I've ever met. Anyone at SWAG has the brain and passion to follow through on any reasonable resolution they make. Sometimes it just seems out of reach. And this feeling is the real death of new-years resolutions.
So whatever you decide to do this year--or at any time--remember that you are stronger than your doubt because your doubt is just words that you've disproven time and time again. If you mess up once, a few times, that's okay. No one has a perfect record. And if you can't, that's okay too. When it comes to our personal habits, we live in a world of infinite chances.
And if you succeed, then you've made your life a little bit better in some small way, and yourself a little bit stronger.
My resolutions are: write every day, learn Polish on Duolingo every day, and read a book every week. They're lofty, and I perhaps won't keep all of them. But for now I believe I can.
Good luck with your resolutions, and happy new year.
-- Joanna Slusarewicz