As a former intern with CSR, I was asked to write a post about New Year’s Resolutions. But what advice can I, a lowly college senior with no Five-Year Plan and very little business experience, impart upon you, dear reader? I’m not one of those wunderkinds who resolved to learn a new language or patented an invention by age 12. In fact, my New Year’s track record is pretty awful. In years past, I approached the New Year armed with a long list of resolutions that ranged from the vague (“change myself” or “be a better person”) to the absurd (“develop an accent when speaking English so as to sound foreign and interesting”). Needless to say, these ideas never materialized, and I would get back into my normal routine without implementing any of the changes I wanted in my life.
This year, however, I’ve resolved to take a different approach–namely, not making any resolutions. Well, okay, I resolved to floss every day, but on a more serious level, I have not resolved to find a good job, or a boyfriend, or even to take up an interesting hobby. The reason behind my renouncement of resolutions is my new-found conviction that they can often blind us to possibilities or opportunities that are right in front of us, simply because they don’t fit into “the plan.” For example, I had no intention of working during my time studying abroad in Spain, content to take a break and simply soak up Spanish culture. Yet when an internship opportunity with a local NGO came up, I decided to go for it, a decision that cut into my leisure time but nonetheless proved to be a huge learning experience and a valuable addition to my resume. If I had stuck with my original plan of “living the Spanish life,” I might have never secured that internship.
As I have learned throughout my brief life, we have very little control over anything. Illness, bad luck, and unforeseen circumstances can often stand in the way of meeting set goals. The only things we can control are our attitude and reaction to the challenges, difficulties, and joys that life throws at us. This year, I’m breaking from my past attempts to plan out the year, and focusing instead on an attitude of openness, determined to take on whatever 2015 has in store.