Holidays

New Year’s Resolutions

It’s the last day of the year, a time when we all reflect on everything that happened this past year, the good, the bad and the mediocre. This was a pretty big year for me, my biggest milestone being that I graduated from college. I started the year at one internship and am ending it at another. I spent the majority of my summer worrying about getting a job and trying to figure out what the hell I’m going to do with myself (as you can see just by looking at my first few blog posts).

The remaining small sliver of my summer was dedicated to actually having fun and not worrying and just living my life. I went to a few grad parties, went to a concert, saw a musical. During November, I participated in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) for the first time ever. I didn’t reach the goal of 50,000 words, but that’s okay, because that novel has a long way to go before I think it’s even remotely worthy of trying to get it published. Also, these past two months, I went to a screenwriting workshop, which was really great because it gave me many new techniques for my writing, which I’ll be glad to share with you all in a separate post.

In this blog post, I want to focus specifically on New Year’s resolutions. Everyone makes them, whether it’s a goal to exercise more, make more time for friends and family, conquer some sort of fear, or just find a way to better yourself in general. And those are great. We should have goals to improve our lives or, better yet, help other people’s lives. The problem with most of us, though, is that we find excuses not to do things, and we subsequently fill ourselves with empty promises. It goes a little something like this: I’m sure the gym is crowded today, so I’ll just go tomorrow. I’ll eat this chocolate cake now and then I won’t eat dessert again for a week. You get the idea.

I think the main reason that happens is because we don’t really think long term. After all, they’re called New Year’s resolutions for a reason. They’re supposed to take the whole year, something we work on little by little, rather than abandon after only a week or two. So, yes, it’s difficult, but it’s important to challenge ourselves with goals because having and achieving goals is what helps us grow and learn about ourselves.

So, I’ll share my New Year’s resolutions with you all. I have two this year:

1. Write (and read) every day.

That’s actually one of the many tips I got out of the screenwriting workshop I attended. To become a better writer (much like anything), you have to practice and write every single day in order to perfect your craft. The other thing I learned, though, is that it’s important to schedule a time to write and really stick to it by devoting that time to literally do nothing but write. That’s something I need to work on anyway, since I have so many ideas floating around in my head, but I always come up with excuses not to write. Those excuses basically just boil down to me being lazy, which I’m aware is a terrible excuse altogether. But, I really do want to be a professional writer (whether it’s an author, playwright, screenwriter, journalist, you name it), and I need to start developing some solid stuff that I can use to build my portfolio because I’m serious about my writing career. It’s important to me, and if there’s something you want to do that’s important to you, you’ll find a way to make time for it.

2. Have more fun.

Now, this resolution may seem counterproductive compared to my first one, but it’s not for me, and I’ll explain why. I’m a serious person. I don’t know if that comes across in this blog, who knows, but I am. I’ve always been hard on myself, whether it was to do well in school, or at my job, and especially more recently, to be successful. Now, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Who doesn’t want to be successful, right? The problem with it, though, is that by focusing too much on a career, it’s easy to shut out other aspects of your life because you’re too busy worrying about the future instead of living in the present. I’ve been reading a lot of articles lately about how people in their twenties still don’t know who they are, and I’ve come to realize that that couldn’t be more true. In fact, it’s normal. But the only way to figure out who you are is to simply live, day by day. So, it’s about time I take the pressure off myself and just live and try new things and enjoy life.

I wish you all a happy and prosperous New Year, filled with new adventures and surrounded with people you love. I hope you achieve all you want to achieve, and if not, that you don’t beat yourself up over it. Just live.

-Ali

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