They say “bad habits die hard.” I can’t agree with that more.
For the New Year, I made several resolutions for myself, including being more consistent with my journaling and skincare routine. In my head I imagined myself doing these tasks, fulfilling them, and becoming so used to these habits that it was second nature to me, that it was effortless.
But that imagination remained in my head, nothing more.
A few weeks into the New Year and I have already broken so many of my New Year’s resolutions. One day, I am writing in my journal and doing my short skincare routine. After two days or so, I’m lounging around in my house doing nothing. Hours pass and it’s already midnight. I didn’t do any of my goals and say, “I’ll do it tomorrow.” Boom, I fall into the trap.
This inconsistent routine continues to go on like a never-ending carousel ride. I journal and do my skincare routine, I succeed. Then I wake up one morning forgetting the goals I have. When it comes back to me, I say “I’ll do it in a little bit” until that turns into the usual “I’ll do it tomorrow.” As I continue to get stuck in this routine, I rack my head, beating myself up, wondering “Why do I keep on breaking my streaks for my tasks?” “Why is it so hard to be consistent with these things?” “Isn’t this supposed to be easy?”
Truth be told, New Year’s Resolutions are not easy. They evoke change and change is never easy. I realized that I am frustrated because maintaining a consistent journaling and skincare schedule are happening much slower than I want them to, that things are not going according to plan. But the world never happens the way we want it to be. As hard as it may be to accept, there is no harm in going back to square one, repeating the process over again.
New Year’s Resolutions take time, especially if we want them to be done right. I remind myself that I should take it slow and steady. One day, it will be effortless. But for now, when I start my day I should remember that I have to journal, do my skincare routine, and begin at least one of my other resolutions once I develop a schedule. It’s a challenge, but I should take it one step at a time. I should restrain my urge to finish every goal all at once.
“Take your time, go at your own pace, enjoy the moment,” I try to tell myself. I should be relaxed and remember it is only the beginning of the year. I have a whole year to accomplish all of my plans.
I know there will be days where I will just watch TV, read a good book, or sleep, as time quickly ticks by. I have to remind myself to break this cycle like imagining how guilt-free I will be once these goals are accomplished or how these activities bring me joy. This way, I know that I make time for hobbies that allow me to take a pause from my busy life, to breathe, and be present.
I may make the same mistake over and over again, but that’s okay. If I don’t accomplish even one goal by the end of January, that’s okay too. I shouldn’t ruminate over small missteps. They are bound to happen. As long as I am doing my best to break, everything will turn out fine, maybe even better than I imagined.
At the end of the year, what will matter is the progress I’ve made, what I learned from my mistakes, how I felt, and how these resolutions transformed me into a better person.
As they say, “It is not where you start, it is how you finish.”