Why I Have No New Year’s Resolutions

At the beginning of 2017, I had many goals for the upcoming year, and I set high expectations for what I could accomplish within this short amount of time. Like many of us who set New Year’s resolutions with the best of intentions, by the time December came around, I could hardly remember all of the goals I had set because I had given them up months before.

This left me with the ugly feeling of failure and defeat. I spent the last few weeks of December brainstorming how I would start again in 2018. There was some strange idea in my head that when the clock struck twelve on New Year’s Eve, I would be a completely new person. I was going to start eating healthier, working out, and reading more.

But as the New Year approached, this mentality began to make less and less sense to me. I love the idea of a fresh start in the New Year, but setting unrealistic goals and beating myself up when I fail is just not healthy. There is already so much pressure in our lives as young people. We are expected to do well in school, have a wide range of interests, and of course, constantly disprove the idea that people our age are lazy and vain. It simply made no sense to me to add more to this list of expectations.

That is not to say that having no New Year’s Resolutions leaves one completely goalless. I have decided to focus my energy on more long-term goals. One of my long-term goals is simply ‘health,’ which involves a variety of things. Yes, I want to exercise more and eat better, but I am not going to follow a strict food diet or try to go for a run every single day. Instead, I will take the time to figure out what works best for me and how I can incorporate healthier habits into my lifestyle over time.

Another big change is that I am not going to give up if I have a bad day or week or even month. Every new day can serve as a new opportunity to better yourself and work toward your goals. Even just doing one thing in a day that contributes to your life in a meaningful way is a great start.

I think that this new model for goal-setting will be a lot healthier for the mind and body. New Year’s is certainly symbolic as it promotes a fresh start, but it is not the only time of year to think about self-improvement. Checking in with yourself regularly to see how you are working toward your goals is crucial and much more beneficial than cramming it all into the month of January.

That being said, if New Year’s resolutions are your thing and you have found success with them, then go for it! Everyone’s brains work differently, and I have found that this model of goal-setting keeps me on track. Happy New Year!


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