New Year’s resolutions

a/Student Living by

1. Aman Malhotra, U1 Arts and Science

(Jack Neal / McGill Tribune)
(Jack Neal / McGill Tribune)

What was your last New Year’s resolution?

Ironically, it was to avoid making unrealistic commitments. How young and naive I was.

Did you maintain it?

My hopeful pledge legitimately lasted until around teatime that very day, at which time I foolishly agreed to make lasagna for dinner. I don’t know how to make lasagna. Rough start to the year.

What is your current New Year’s resolution?

Alongside the classic tradition of “Get Jacked!” I decided that I want to be a less judgemental person. All fingers are crossed here that this one works out.

How do you plan on pursuing it?

By giving myself a broad, reasonable goal, the pressure is taken off. As long as I can see progress and feel like it’s positively affecting my peers and myself, I’m happy.

What is your view of New Year’s resolutions?

It’s helpful! Nobody likes undue pressure at the best of times, and least of all when it feels obligatory. Do yourself a favour and relax. Use your friends and family as motivation, but don’t lament over what they choose to do—that’s their decision. Honestly, New Year’s really cannot be the one chance we have to fire promises at ourselves. As long as I’m optimistic, I can give myself an attainable goal anytime, without having to force it. It’s about being ambitious, but making it something you feel is achievable. That said, be stern with yourself, exercise discipline, and give yourself incentive to avoid wavering from the goal you set—the results will be worth it!

2. Nathalie Cook, U1 Science

(Remi Lu / McGill Tribune)
(Remi Lu / McGill Tribune)

What was your last New Year’s resolution?

To learn how to skate. Having lived my whole life in France before coming to McGill, I never learned how to ice skate and I was so impressed by and envious of all the amazing skaters over here!

Did you maintain it?

I did keep my New Year’s Resolution. I did so by joining a weekly skating lesson at McGill taught by a student on the McGill Figure Skating Club. I also took advantage of all the beautiful outdoor rinks, such as the one by Old Port and Beaver Lake on Mount Royal.

What is your current New Year’s resolution?

To reduce my general stress level by trying to lead a more balanced life. I have a tendency to get caught up with school and neglect other important things in my life, such as my friends and extracurricular activities.

How do you plan on pursuing it?

I have decided to commit myself to things outside of school. I have joined  the Students’ Society of McGill University SSMU Ski & Snowboard Club, which means I’ll be skiing with my friends hopefully every Saturday of the season. I’ve also started volunteering at the Royal Victoria Hospital once a week.

What is your view of New Year’s resolutions?

I think that the concept of it is useful because it allows people to start off the new year with a specific goal in mind. This helps us stay motivated, especially when most of us are returning from two weeks of festivities spent with friends and family.  I would advise people to set specific short-term goals, rather than ambiguous long-term ones. Specific goals are easier to attain and people will feel motivated to continue pursuing them. Also, make sure that your [resolutions] are realistic­— it’s better to start small than to give up after a couple of weeks!

3. Meghan Collie, U1 Arts

(L-A Benoit / McGill Tribune)
(L-A Benoit / McGill Tribune)

What was your last New Year’s resolution?

[It] was a pretty long list, but it basically included all the basics. Eat healthily, work out more, keep my grades up. There were some other more personal ones too, like reminding me to talk to my family while I’m away at school more.

Did you maintain it?

I didn’t keep it to the extent that I would’ve liked and probably benefitted from. I entered 2014 a[…] high on the clean slate feeling everyone gets at the beginning of a new year, but I quickly got really stressed from dealing with first year, living in a residence, and having a long-distance relationship. I think it fell apart because I never viewed my resolution as a lifestyle change, but simply something to do because it was the start of a new year.

What is your current New Year’s Resolution?

I resolved to focus more on myself this year. A lot of my young adult life has consisted of me focusing on other people and other people’s happiness. This year, I […] decided to be selfish and do what makes me the happiest.

How do you plan on pursuing it?

I plan on approaching everyday with this “do me” attitude, and also making an effort to get to the gym everyday (regardless of how tired I am). It has to be a constant focus in my mind for it to work!

What is your view of New Year’s resolutions?

I think it’s a helpful concept because they inspire people to restart, even though it’s basically a facade (because you could realistically change your lifestyle whenever you wanted). However, the “clean slate” that comes from a new calendar gives people the motivation or the final push to really make a permanent change. [Resolutions are] hard because we […] aren’t very good at breaking habits, but once you do, it’ll become really easy to do the things on your list everyday. You can’t just write down your ideas and expect the existence of a list to change stuff. You have to live and breathe your goals every single day for them to take effect.

4. Julian Paparella, U4 Science

mcgillcatholics.ca
mcgillcatholics.ca

What was your 2014 New Year’s resolution?

I can’t remember exactly how I phrased my resolution last year, but it involved being more present to other people, and, as a person of faith, to God.

Did you maintain it?

It’s still certainly a work in progress!

What is your current New Year’s resolution?

This year I have two resolutions: First, to attend every class; and second, building on last year’s, to be more sincere with myself, with others, and with God.

How do you plan on pursuing it?

The first is extremely easy in theory, but if my past seven semesters are any reliable indication, far more difficult in practice. Thankfully, I don’t have the cruel punishment of 8:30 lectures so that’s already a step in the right direction, but getting to bed at a reasonable hour is probably my biggest strategy and struggle. As for the second, with things that are less concrete than class attendance, such as being more sincere, I think the key is being intentional. In my case, taking time […] to ask: Why am I doing this? What are my motivations? What are my desires? How do I approach others? Am I striving to be myself, and the best version of myself?

What is your view on New Year’s resolutions?

In my view, New Year’s resolutions provide a great opportunity to reflect, to see how you’re doing at life, to do away with the bad, and to strive to grow in the good. Sort of like pruning and fertilizing a prized rose in order for it to grow better, fuller, and more beautifully. For me, the difficulty comes in that the resolutions are so often confined to the New Year. They seem to last barely longer than the descent of the Times Square ball on New Year’s Eve! If I can remember what I’ve resolved to do and keep at it day in and day out (even if I slip along the way), I can get to where I want to be. A healthy combination of patience, realism, and determination is a huge help in this regard.

5. Desiree D’Souza, U3 Arts and Science

(Photo courtesy of DECA McGill)
(Photo courtesy of DECA McGill)

What was your last New Year’s resolution?

To eat healthier and exercise more often.

Did you maintain it?

I did! I set small goals for myself, and took concrete steps towards making them a reality. I found healthier foods that I liked, and started cooking more […] I took a circuit training class twice a week at the gym that was challenging […] and I’d try to go in twice more and run, or swim some laps. It was difficult at first, but after a while, eating healthy and working out became a habit. Over the summer I worked with a personal trainer, and this year I’m still taking that class and making an effort to eat healthy.

What is your current New Year’s resolution?

My first resolution is to become a morning person. I love sleeping in and often develop a terrible sleeping schedule over the course of the semester. I’ve been reading many articles that talk about the benefits of waking up early in terms of daily motivation, and find myself more productive earlier in the day[…] My second resolution is to read more books. I’ve always liked reading but find that during the semester, I stop reading novels for fun and get buried in course readings and scientific articles, but somehow still have time to watch Netflix. I also bought a lot of books at the Chapter’s closing sale and want to read them.

How do you plan on pursuing it?

By taking small steps. I’ve been trying to wake up during the week at 7a.m. or earlier, and heading to the gym straight away for a morning workout. I let myself sleep in on the weekends, or if I have a late night out, but I want to change my sleeping schedule so that waking up for 8:30 classes becomes a breeze. I also made a list of books that I want to read using the Goodreads app, and have been working through it for the past couple of weeks. I try and read a chapter or so each night. So far, I’ve finished three.

What is your view of New Year’s resolutions?

I think it’s a helpful concept if used correctly. Everyone likes the idea of a fresh start and I think it’s great to set realistic goals to become a better version of yourself, or do something you’ve always wanted to. People don’t necessarily have to wait until the new year to make these goals. It’s good to reflect on your lifestyle once in a while and take actions towards a happier, healthier you.