New Year's Resolutions for You to Steal

Happy New Year, one and all, and a merry good riddance to 2016, whose horrible resonance will sadly linger long into next year. That is why 2017 is the year we have to be our strongest, smartest and bravest selves, to combat the politics, the hate and the injustice we will once again witness firsthand. But the drive to change starts with the smallest decisions - fixing a bad habit here, altering a particular response there - and whilst we can't change our behaviours overnight, we can all make small steps towards our goals from the second that minute hand ticks over to 12:01.

Stuck with where to begin? The She Works team (+ WTW guest) have compiled their own New Year's resolutions for your perusal (and theft) below:

'Of course I want to continue promoting gender equality in 2017, my ultimate passion, but I have recently developed a new passion: learning new languages. The British curriculum is terrible for languages. Since living in Beijing for the past 5 months, I have met people from all around the world, and they all speak English! Fluently! This makes me feel so ignorant and really shows how reluctant English native speakers are to learn new languages, and how language learning opportunities are really poor in the UK. Plus, learning a new language makes you significantly more employable, especially in the field that I want to work in which is international development and human rights. So my New Year's resolution for 2017 is to start learning Spanish, French and Mandarin. According to Duolingo, I'm already 1% fluent in Spanish!' - Katie Capstick, Intern

'My New Year’s resolution is to make more time for things I enjoy, especially reading! I adore reading and used to constantly have a book on the go, but with university and all its responsibilities I’ve found that I haven’t picked up a book just for enjoyment for a long time. I know next year will be an intense one but I think making time for relaxation will actually help to reduce stress a little. I have so many books sitting on my shelf waiting for me so I’m definitely going to get started on them!' - Laura Makin, Intern

'My New Year’s resolution this year is going to be focussed on personal development. I am going to undertake some professional qualifications to help expand my knowledge in my current field (Financial Services). I think this resolution can be adopted by anybody, no matter what your profession. The quest for knowledge does not have to end when you leave full-time education. I believe everybody can benefit from broadening their skillset, whether it’s to gain further knowledge of your current field or just to branch out.' - Ash Threadgold, Assistant Editor

'1. To stop saying 'just'. Women use the word 'just' a lot when speaking, more so than men do. 'I just wanted to...' 'I was just wondering...' 'I've just been thinking it might...' In doing so we're setting ourselves up for a negative response, preparing for a 'no'. And because we've used the word 'just', it makes it a hell of a lot easier for whoever we're speaking to to deliver that 'no'. We as women shouldn't be apologising for what we want, what we wonder or what we think. My resolution is to stop this. "I wanted to..." "I was wondering..." "I've been thinking..." Be confident, in your appearance, persona, and speech.

2. To actually apply for the job. I have bookmarked at least 7 job applications. But have I actually gotten round to applying to any? No. Whether it's because I've prioritised re-watching Stranger Things for the third time or because the thought of writing a cover letter is literally the last thing I want to do, I need to stop being scared of the future and take a risk. Sure if I don't send the application off I won't receive a rejection in return, but I also won't receive an acceptance. My New Year's resolution is to put my big girl pants on and dedicate some time to applying to jobs. And when I'm doubting myself to remember, 'You cannot discover new oceans unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.'' - Alex Dale, Intern

'Throughout my friendship group, there are many, many differing thoughts and views on the current state of our world. My New Year's resolution is to keep my calm when these opinions challenge my own and, in general, to just try and educate the people I know a little bit more on what we should be thinking about. Basically, to not fear the label 'feminist' and to be prouder of my political stance. And to drink more water.' - Lily Ford, Intern

'My New Year’s resolution for 2017 is probably one of the more cliché: to read more. I’m now in my fourth year of university, in a degree that involves reading a lot of research and theory, and I’m struggling to remember the last time I read a book cover to cover, or actually because I wanted to rather than as part of my work. Whilst it’s hardly something that sounds super impressive on your CV, reading fiction opens up your imagination and puts you into situations that you would never encounter in everyday life, allowing you to reflect on yourself as a person but also your surroundings. Amongst other books, I’m planning on reading some classic and contemporary feminist literature, from authors such as Margaret Atwood, Alice Walker, Roxanne Gay and Toni Morrison. If you’re also interested in immersing yourself in feminist literature, Emma Watson’s feminist reading group Our Shared Shelf has a group on Goodreads, with plenty of suggestions and discussions about the chosen books.' - Abby Tatterton, Intern

'If I'm being honest, I can't think of anything meaningful that I want to change for the year coming. The past year has been such a turbulent one for me, with so much change to the point that I look back to who I was in 2015 and I can barely recognise myself. I have learned the true value of being yourself aggressively and without reservations or apologies, how to admit when I am struggling, to seek help and to face my problems head-on rather than burying my head in the sand. I have grown so much and I only want to change what is necessary so that I can continue growing. As for specifics, well I guess I will learn what those are as the events of 2017 start to unfold.' - Rhiannon Walmsley, Intern

'My New Year's resolutions are, first and foremost, that I am my own woman and to keep in mind that I am happiest when I'm in control of my own happiness, so not to let anyone ruin that. But also, to not worry overly about the future and to concentrate on doing just the best I can in the here and now.' - Rowan Taylor, Intern

'My New Year's resolution is to feed my soul more. I hope to have more meaningful experiences in my life, starting by reading up on all my heritage countries and putting more work into building up my future, but - most importantly - making sure that I am happy deep down.' - Sofia Cissé Akel, Founder of One Love Radio and upcoming WomanToWatch

'As for me, I have a couple that I could think of, but I think a main one is to look after myself. I'm at university. To paint a picture of my experience so far, imagine: me, sat in my university-college bar, an empty burrito wrapper to my left and the dregs of a cold Costa latte to my right. In front of me, a blank Word Document and fifteen tabs open spanning Facebook, random essays and my student portal. The time is now 2pm, whilst the 1500 word essay is due in at 6pm. My typing from the last hour has been me whinging to Ash over Facebook messenger about the essay, or lack thereof. A combination of coffee, last night's third double-vodka lemonade and restless sleep between 3am and 9am has my anxiety levels sky rocketing. And all this could be helped if I, three weeks ago, had put down the cider-black and announced that I would not be going to Dalton Rooms tonight. Instead, I would be curled up with a finished essay, some vegetables and a glass of water. Then I wouldn't have had to get my housemates to walk around town with me at 2am because I felt too nervous to sleep. So that would be my New Year's resolution: a combination of saying 'no', walking more, drinking less and bossing the final year of my degree.' - Isabella Ford, Editor-in-Chief

Sofia's WomanToWatch article will be available to read in the next couple of weeks, so keep an eye out, and Happy New Year from all of us!