Raise your hand if you’re slightly panicking that 2018 will be here in a few weeks’ time because you wanted to do so much more in 2017. Time is going faster than your mother jumping to the conclusion that something must have happened to you when you don’t immediately reply to her message. For me, 2018 will hopefully be the year when I finish my master’s degree, finally get a job and hopefully stay on track with my New Year’s resolutions. Because we all have New Year’s resolutions on the 1 January, wanting to kick off the year in the best way possible, right?

But we all know what happens to New Year’s resolutions: first you set them, the first few weeks everything is just peachy and eventually you bin them because you don’t have the strength to keep up with them any more. A bit pessimistic perhaps, but it doesn’t make it less true. Because what happened to the goals we set last year? Mine flew out of the window.

Like a good (old) Psychology student, I know you will only succeed if you set concrete goals. So what do I do every year? Right, I don’t set a concrete goal but choose a theme in the form of a word. Perhaps a bit weird but I have my reasons! I like it better if I can decide how to pursue my goals and it gives me a bit more freedom (and perhaps it’s easier to be more satisfied). Last year my theme was ‘Physical Strength’ because I wanted to get fitter and I would do this by running more and doing more yoga. Well I can tell you, I didn’t run as much as I wanted or grab my mat. The yoga pose ‘Downward Facing Dog’ was the ‘Downward Falling Dog’ in my case. Enough said.

The freedom of having just a theme is nice but the disadvantage is that you go easy on yourself really quickly. So this year I’m going to do it differently: instead of thinking of a theme for 2018, I will dedicate the last weeks of December to the theme of 2017. In other words, I’ll run more kilometers and grab my mat more often so that I can have a smile on my face (rather than a mat in my face) entering the New Year. Bring on the old year’s resolutions. Wanna join?

Rocher Koendjbiharie is a masterstudent International Public Management & Policy