Starting Small: My Resolutions For The New Year

I have never been a big fan of New Year’s resolutions. Every time I make one I give up on it just a week or two into the year. I have never lost those ten pounds, I have never read a memoir a month, and I have definitely never learned Arabic. 

I want this year to be different. I am going to start small, and maybe then I will actually keep them. So, here is the list of my 2022 resolutions:

1. Dress up 

2. Spend moments in silence

3. Own my body

On the surface, these may seem pretty basic. It does not appear that following them could change my life. But I am determined for them to.

Step number one on the path to Aubrey 2.0 is to dress up more often. 

When I was a sophomore in high school, I was planning on going to fashion design school, which is funny to me now. If you saw me on an average day, in sweat pants and a tank top, you would probably chuckle too. But in 2022, I am going to work a little bit harder to get back to those “fashion roots.”

I find that the days when I actually try with my outfits are the days I feel best about myself. I wore a dress last week just because I could, and that day was one of the best I have had in a while.

There are a lot of things in life that I can’t control, but I can control what I wear. So if every day I can give myself that little extra push by putting on a pair of jeans instead of sweatpants or layering a quirky turtleneck under my sweatshirt, then that is what I am going to do.

Now onto resolution number two: spending moments in silence.

College is overwhelming; classes, work, and friends all stack up into a pile that feels impossible to hold sometimes. My calendar is always endlessly full of coffees with classmates, meetings with professors, trainings for work. It feels like it never ends. And in those moments where I do have time to myself, I feel like I am wasting it by scrolling through TikTok or catching up on that TV show my brother recommended.

A few weeks ago, I read this article for one of my classes that was about relaxing. According to professionals – I don’t know what professionals study relaxing, but apparently there are some that do – most people don’t actually know how to take time for themselves. Yes, I pinned an aesthetic “self care” collage on my Pinterest board, but that does not mean I actually cared for myself at all.

Last week was hard for me. With finals looming, I was feeling overwhelmed. As stupid as it sounds, I turned off all the lights in my room and sat down on the floor. It was dark and quiet and peaceful. And that time I spent on the floor was legitimately the most relaxing thing I have done in months. It felt like a real self-care moment.

So for next year, I am planning on spending more moments in silence. It might be weird if my roommate comes home to find me meditating on the floor in the dark, but there are definitely worse things.

And finally, in 2022 I want to own my body.

I don’t know why this is something I have just come to understand in the past few months, but my body is mine. It is entirely and completely mine. No one else has the right to my body. No one else can control my body (even if the U.S. government really wants to). This realization has been so unbelievably freeing, and I wish, for high school Aubrey’s sake, that I would have realized it earlier.

Because my body is entirely my own, I get to do what I want to it. I can cut and dye my hair. I can cover every inch of my arms in tattoos. I can lose weight or gain it. I can do anything. 

All of these resolutions sound like small things. Of course I can wear what I want. Of course I can sit in the dark every so often. Of course I can remember my body is mine. But I am hoping that doing all of these things will remind me to love myself, and if I love myself, then I think life will get just that much easier.

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