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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Carleton chapter.

I have not started any of my New Year’s Resolutions.

Usually during the winter holiday, I get excited to create my list of goals and accomplishments for the year to come. I would gather inspiration from Pinterest, TikTok, YouTube, and podcast episodes towards my goals. I had the vision board ready to begin, I had the ideas, I did the notebook exercises, and I even cleaned my room, but I have not followed through yet. Although I had those unexpected bursts of motivation, it seemed harder to begin acting on my goals than I anticipated.

Throughout the years I became very ambitious with my goals. I would create a list of all the activities and hobbies I wanted to implement into my life, when in reality, it was never going to be as simple as writing it all down. One of the things I have had on my list for a couple of years was to get better at running. I love to run in my free time and it was something I looked forward to, but I have been stuck in a loop of being inconsistent, so I never surpassed my goal. Is it because I did not go in-depth about what I wanted to accomplish? Or was I thinking too much about the end goal each time I stepped foot outside? I am not sure.

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The next phase

I have been trying to uncover the next phase of my life as I prepared for 2024’s arrival, and I could not figure out what that could be. I tried to watch the latest videos on “how to make 2024 your year” or “how to make your life so much better with a simple routine”, but it was all overwhelming. Every time I watched these videos, I would listen and admire the people on the screen and I would think to myself, “This is what I want to do”. But I began to compare my life to everyone else’s. I would tell myself that I need to change how I dress, how I act, and how I live my life. But it created this mindset of having to start the year ‘perfectly’ and leave all the things that have gone wrong in the past behind.

Although it all sounds very appealing, I have to let go of the concept of what the “next phase” should be. The New Year shouldn’t be about reinventing yourself and ‘improving’ every aspect of who you are in an instant. I believe we have to take it one step at a time.

The media

It’s easy to get the wrong impression from the media. It’s also easy to compare other people’s lives to your own. From my personal experience, my goals have been solely based on how I can exactly implement someone else’s everyday routine that I have seen online, and add it into my own life. With this mindset, I forget about my own passions and what I would like to do.

Although the media has wonderful ways to inspire individuals around the world, I have noticed how comparison is much easier to do especially when it comes to creating goals.

Have you heard of the “New Year, New Me” saying? I see it used often and I understand the excitement of the concept. But there is a lot of pressure when it comes to creating and having goals in general. And when we do have goals in mind, we tend to put a lot of pressure on living up to them and the expectations we set for ourselves. And if we somehow fail or forget about our goals for one day, our motivation starts to fade. It is not ideal and it can put a toll on the life you envision for yourself. However, I do not view this as a bad thing.

Goals are here to inspire us and to motivate us, adding to life’s meaning. But I do not believe a New Year means a new you, but rather it is an opportunity to go through all the emotions: to try, to mess up, to inspire, and to even feel lost sometimes.

Nothing in this life is going to be perfect and sometimes we make those minor mistakes or life throws a giant curveball when everything is going well. So I ask you this question: When has life ever been perfect?

New Year, New mistakes, new experiences

DVF\'s Own It: The Secret to Life book

That being said, I have gained a new perspective going into 2024.

So, my inner self, talking to my outer persona would give the following advice: I want you to mess up, get embarrassed and laugh a little too loud. I want you to dance like nobody’s watching, and take the risk even if you do not get the outcome you want. Create the goals, become a bit lazy, and try once more. I want you to embrace the good and the bad. I don’t believe the New Year is meant to erase everything you have gone through, but it allows you to embrace all stages of your life.

I am unsure of how I want to approach 2024, but maybe this is the time of my life when I am simply trying my best. It is okay to have or to not have any goals in mind, but to simply move forward.

So, my hope to myself and to everyone is: I hope this new year brings you peace, with what once was and what is now. Embrace the challenges and the hiccups along the journey. The best part of being human is you are able to try and try again, even when all seems uncertain.

I have reached the end of my reflection now as the New Year has already begun. But as I have been writing about New Year’s Resolutions, I have come up with one important goal I want to focus on this year:

Goal: Embrace what life has to offer

So here’s a toast to New Year’s Resolutions! Whether you have them or not, you are right where you are meant to be and should embrace everything as it comes.

So cheers to a New Year!

Hailey David

Carleton '25

Hailey is the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Director for the 2024/2025 year. Hailey is a fourth year Media Production and Design student. Not only is she staying present in the social media world, but she is creating her own designs in various projects. Outside of her degree, she is passionate about mental health and creating content. Currently, she is on her co-op term, exploring the media world. Music is her passion, whether she is creating her 50th playlist on Spotify, or writing her own music, it continues to be present in her world. She is fascinated by art, the warmth of tea, and the comfort of reading. But of course, if she had the chance to rewatch The Fosters or Shadowhunters a third or fourth time, she would.