Why This College Student's Decision To Give Up Pizza Was About More Than You Think

“You don’t need to lose any weight!”

This was an exclamation I heard more than just a handful of times throughout 2016 when people found out I was passing on pizza for a whole year. I was also prompted with other inquiries along the lines of: What’s the point? Are you serious? Do you ever cheat?

The answers were always, “No, I don’t cheat.” “Yes, I am serious.” And the point? I set the goal so now I have to fulfill it.

You see, what a lot of people who found out about my personal endeavor were failing to realize was the principle of the matter. I was not trying to change my physique; I was not trying to cut down the carbs; and I was certainly not giving up pizza for fun. I was practicing goal setting and execution in a very simple, yet challenging way.

Photo via @itsandie

Self-control and self-discipline seem to be attributes that many individuals, across generations, struggle with. We live in a society notorious for hedonism. While indulgence and pleasure can be healthy, it is just as important to balance those actions with restraint and control. Setting, maintaining, and accomplishing goals is a perfect way to practice self-disciplinary actions with personal rewards of fulfillment. In my case, accomplishing a year long goal felt awesome and biting into a slice of pizza for the first time in over 365 days was tremendously pleasureful.

Photo via @jordanflyley

Don’t confuse resolutions with yearly goals, though. Resolutions are oftentimes associated with the stigmatized phrase, “New year, new me.” I have no intentions of creating a new identity for myself in any new year. (And neither should you!) However, working towards becoming a better version of oneself is always in style. That’s why I challenge all of you to set goals for yourself this year! The timelines of these goals could be three months, six months, a year or beyond! The idea is to always be working towards achieving something. This means it’s also totally acceptable to reevaluate and change your goals at any time!

Photo via @sydneyhelphenstine

It’s also important to not let anyone belittle your efforts or intentions! The point of this exercise isn’t to drastically change your lifestyle or to kick every one of your possibly not-so-healthy habits. It’s just to dedicate your efforts to fulfilling a goal and sticking to a plan you created for yourself. This inevitably increases your confidence to shoot for bigger and better goals in the future. So despite what anyone may tell you, your goals and efforts are valid not matter how cheesy (pun totally intended) they may sounds.

Photo via @guccigranolaaa

As for me, well, I think crossing the line of a mini-marathon has potential to be in my near future. What’s in yours?