Ending 2022 With None Of My Resolutions Fulfilled

Funnily enough, every time January rolls around, I find myself instinctively declaring “new year, new me”. With the start of a new year, I’m always pressured to reflect on what I’ve accomplished in the past year and set brand new goals for the coming one. 

While I was busy listing down my new year resolutions, my friend Joelle casually told me that she ended 2022 with none of hers fulfilled. I thought she would’ve been embarrassed or ashamed to admit this, but surprisingly enough, she seemed pretty pleased instead. 

I was, naturally, intrigued. In a fast-paced environment like Singapore, it’s rare to hear people admit that they’re not worried about falling short of their goals. After graduating from JC, Joelle didn’t attend university like her peers, and also didn’t finish an internship that might have helped to kickstart a career. 

Joelle intends for 2023 to be the same. Here’s why, as told from her perspective:

My 2022 resolutions

new year resolutionsThe 2022 list of resolutions that I made at the start of the year

Like almost every other person, I create a list of new year resolutions at the start of each year. 2022 wasn’t any different. I kept my resolutions short and vague, yet they were still big goals. It’s a habit really, as I like how rewarding it feels to see myself grow by checking off my accomplishments.

I had just completed my A Levels, so including “complete a good internship” and “get into university” on the list was expected of me — just like all my schoolmates. However, I wasn’t sure if these were exactly what I wanted to do. On an impulsive whim, I added “gap year…?” to the list.

Obviously, a gap year and enrolling myself in university can’t happen at the same time. It felt as if I was stuck between a tug-of-war, unsure of which team was going to win.

Taking a gap year instead of going to university

My wonderful parents who have always been supporting me

After a long period of hesitation and looking through uni applications with no inspiration, I finally decided — I was going to take a gap year to focus on myself. It was hard enough to make this decision, but sharing the news with the people around me proved to be even tougher

NGL, my friends interpreted this uncertainty as a bad thing. I received many judgy questions like  “take gap year for what?” or “what are you going to do then?”

Hearing others doubt my decision made me feel extra sian

Surprisingly, the biggest reason why I went for it was because of my parents, who have always been my biggest pillars of support. They encouraged and reassured me, saying, “It’s only one year — got such a big deal meh?”

I’m immensely grateful to be able to take a gap year with support from my parents, considering that it’s a privilege that not everyone has. Especially since I was going against societal norms of a “normal” route, prioritising my self-care and interests instead of jumping straight into another situation that could burn me out quickly.

I wanted more time to think about what I’d like to pursue in the future, while also taking the time to rest. So my resolution about getting into a university? That could wait. 

Not completing my internship

new year resolutionsMe with my previous internship team

The gap year started off with me taking on an internship — another big resolution I wanted to check off my list. I interned as a video producer and entered the working world for the first time, learning hard skills like producing, curating content, and video editing. 

I felt like I was on track with my life again and began to experience “adulting” at just 19 years old. I met so many new people through my internship — some of whom are still my good friends today. 

Unfortunately, this positive vibe didn’t last for long. The learning curve during this internship wasn’t as steep as I had expected, and I wanted to do things beyond video editing. I wanted to venture even further with these new skills, and focus on content creation. 

Maybe it was the overachiever side of me that was pushing for another change. 

After just two months, I made another big decision to end my internship early. Well, back to square one again.

Discovering myself and my interests

Working with SuperGurl and meeting new friends

It was back to the drawing board for me. After striking two items off my resolution list — well, somewhat, I figured it was time to slow down and get to know myself better. You’ll be surprised at how many people don’t actually know what they’re passionate about, and at this point, I was one of them.

With this gap year, I was already lagging behind my friends — what more could I lose? So I decided to take the time to slow down, rest, and relax more. 

Since I knew I enjoyed content creation, I focused on my creative side instead. I experimented being in front of the camera and putting myself out on TikTok and Instagram. Yes, that was me, fully embracing my Gen Z side. 

Soon, opportunities began to come knocking, and I started taking on more personal gigs. I enjoyed what I was doing, and I’d found a comfortable space to freely express myself in whatever way I wanted.

new year resolutionsMeeting new people at a Shopee event

Interestingly enough, I didn’t expect to meet so many new people while I was doing this. I’d always thought that content creation was an individual journey, but I made friends both online and in person during events. 

Having new experiences and making memories are important for me because I want to celebrate my youth. I guess the saying “when one door closes, another one opens” really rings true. Personal growth and character development, here I come.

Finally able to go clubbing for the first time in 2022

One of my biggest highlights from having all this free time? Clubbing

When the pandemic restrictions finally lifted, I got to experience clubbing at Zouk for the very first time. It was extremely memorable because I had so much fun that I couldn’t remember much of what I did. Embarrassingly enough, my friends did, and I heard all about it the next day. 

Despite this, I found myself wanting to go back again and again — the thrill of clubbing and meeting new friends over drinks was a welcome escape from societal pressures of education and career.

Zouk Party as part of SG Spark Squad’s Take It Back campaign, where youths could finally club after the pandemic
Image courtesy of SG Spark Squad

Not many would say that they make reliable friends at the club, but I can safely say I have so far. I initially started going with my own friends, but the group eventually grew larger and larger. 

Even now, my new friends and I occasionally go clubbing or hang out to chill. If LinkedIn is networking for working adults, then clubbing should be a space for youths to create genuine connections too, in my opinion.

Realising that it’s okay to not fulfil my resolutions

Every single year, we make it a point to say “new year, new me” or “this is going to be my year”. But when the year actually wraps up, we end up disappointed that we didn’t achieve all of our resolutions.

Ending 2022 with none of my new year resolutions fulfilled made me realise that perhaps the year doesn’t always have to be about having big ambitions. We’re constantly chasing goals out of kiasu-ness, but we’re so unforgiving, we forget that it’s okay to slow down, be present in the moment, and connect with people around us.

With that said, I’m intending for 2023 to be the same — no more resolutions for me. There’s a phrase in Chinese that goes kai xin jiu hao (开心就好): do whatever makes you happy. I want to continue on this path of self-discovery, experience life a little more and learn to be independent.

Make New Experiences And Memories With SG Spark Squad

new year resolutionsChao Recruit Hangout, End Of Year Party @ Projector X Riverside
Images courtesy of SG Spark Squad

In the same way that Joelle found joy in discovering herself and meeting new people, SG Spark Squad has been organising events that cover a wide variety of interests for individuals to do the same. 

They’ve organised events with unique experiences, like Create Good, an artist-led initiative at Animal Lovers League for passionate youths.

SG Spark Squad also held a Chao Recruit hangout, where participants got to learn more about NS culture and the BMT experience through a competitive card game. For adrenaline-seekers, there was a Go Karting event at KF1 Expo.

To end 2022 on a heartwarming note, SG Spark Squad also got involved in the Boys’ Brigade Share-A-Gift Initiative. Participants distributed hampers of grocery items and gifts to the needy community, in the spirit of caring and sharing during the Christmas season. 

Another way they spread the Christmas joy was through bringing 12-year-olds from the Children Wishing Well on a day of fun at xScape8. The last event of the year was an exciting End Of Year Party at Projector X Riverside with amazing music, great drinks, and of course, the company of people.

new year resolutionsSG Spark Squad already kicked off the year with a Terrazzo Coaster Workshop on 7 January 2023, where participants made their own creative coasters and bonded with others during the process
Image courtesy of SG Spark Squad

For those who want in on the fun ASAP, there will be a Lion Dance Workshop held on 14 January 2023. It includes an introduction to lion dance, debunking myths and misconceptions about the sport, as well as trying hands-on lion dance moves taught by a professional instructor. 

No matter if it’s online hangouts, offline events or even huge clubbing parties, SG Spark Squad’s events mean you’ll never have a reason to say what to do ah? again. As we enter 2023, SG Spark Squad is bringing more joy to the community so you can spark connections and treat yourself to a well-deserved break. Get out there and try new experiences — it’s time for you to and your friends to figure out your personal journey, in the new year.

Sign up for SG Spark Squad’s 2023 events here!

This post was brought to you by SG Spark Squad.
Images courtesy of Joelle Liu unless otherwise stated.