Let’s Talk: New Year’s Resolutions

There’s a bit of back and forth regarding New Year’s Resolutions. Some people say, “make change whenever you want to see it,” while others encourage the idea of a fresh start to the calendar. Personally, I like making goals at the start of a new year. I like challenging myself with realistic possibilities and forging new habits. But, I use the calendar as a marker for evaluation only. What I don’t achieve one year, I simply add on to the next and try again.

I don’t like the idea that a “New Year’s Resolution” is synonymous with failure. In itself, a resolution is just a yearly goal, no different than any other monthly or weekly to-do except for the timeframe. People fail themselves only by making unrealistic goals. Challenging oneself is important, but within the reasonable expectations of what you can actually achieve.

Last year I had four goals:

Be Dauntless

Until I read Veronica Roth’s Divergent, I had no idea what the word “dauntless” meant. However, once I understood the term, I knew that it was a personality trait that I desired to have. To be dauntless means, “to show fearlessness and determination.” Note that it does not mean to be fearless. I want to face my fears head on. I want to be brave and determined to succeed. I’m not 100% there yet (and I might never be), but I’m braver than I was this time last year. I’m trying to become stronger and that’s what counts.

Complete the 52 Book Challenge

After three years on my New Year’s Resolution list, I’m happy to say that this is a challenge that I finally passed. With determination, free time, and a longer commute, I managed to read a grand total of 85 books in 2014. I’ll publish a full list of those books shortly.

Do Something to Decrease World Suck

If you’re not a regular Vlogbrother’s watcher, you’re probably a little unclear what this term means. “World Suck” basically refers to any kind of evil or unacceptable standard in the world. To decrease the overall level of “World Suck” I volunteer and make donations to charitable causes throughout the year, helping others make the world a slightly less sucky place for those less fortunate than myself. This is an item that I always include on my New Year’s Resolution list. No matter how much or how little I’m able to do or give, as long as I do or give something than I’m working towards achieving this goal.

Cross Something Off My Bucket List

If you’ve never heard the term “Bucket List” before, it refers to a list of activities or goals you’d like complete before the end of your life when you “kick the bucket.” It’s a little bit of a morbid expression, but basically it’s a larger perspective of goals for my life as a whole. My Bucket List is a little odd – it includes a variety of things ranging from learning to tie a tie to visiting the White House – and every year I make it a point to try and cross something off my list, even if it’s just in part. What is life if you’re not living it in such a way as to do the things you’ve set out to do, right? This year I traveled to Maine (partial completion of “Visit all 50 US States”) and, as mentioned above, completed the 52 Book Challenge. I also crossed off “Write Something I Feel Proud Enough to Share,” by starting this blog, an item that’s been on my list since I was 16. So, overall, it’s been a good year for my Bucket List.

With all that in mind, my 2015 New Year’s Resolutions are as follows:

  1. Be Dauntless
  2. Do Something to Decrease World Suck
  3. Cross Something Off My Bucket List
  4. Travel Somewhere New
  5. Make a New Friend


What are your New Year’s Resolutions? Let me know in the comments down below!


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