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Why I’m Not Making Any Resolutions In 2020

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at MSU chapter.

Every December, I begin planning my resolutions for the upcoming year. I buy a new planner and cute pens before spending weeks meticulously thinking of (very basic) resolutions — eating healthier, taking up running again, and practicing self-care. These are present every year, and I still have yet to succeed in any of them — and create a plan to achieve them in a crude-looking bullet journal that my friends convinced me to start. This year, I’m breaking the tradition for good reason.

We all know that resolutions can be extremely satisfying when you’re able to complete them. For me, I find the whole process of planning and analysis to be satisfying in itself. However, it’s rare that I actually stick with my plan after February rolls around. Then, I fall into a cycle of plummeting self-esteem, mental and physical stagnation, and a feeling of incompetence. I begin to think that I’m a failure who can never do anything right. This is no way to begin a new chapter in my life, and yet, this has been commonplace year after year. This year, I’ve realized that if these resolutions were actually important to me, I wouldn’t need a new year to commit to them and begin caring about myself.

These resolutions surround everyone else but me. I never make changes to better myself for myself, and this is why it is so hard to succeed. Committing to bullet journaling and organization because that’s what my friends do never lasts for more than two weeks. Creating a lifestyle overhaul that changes my diet and exercise always makes me miserable because I’m doing it to impress others for my “new year, new me” glow up that caters to the exact societal standards that I tell everyone else to ignore. Even when it comes to my mental health, everything that I do in the name of helping myself is motivated by hoping that others will accept me and to make my friends and family see that I’m really going to try this time — that this year, I’ll get better so they can love me more.

I can’t go on starting each new year with the thought that I need to live my life for others or the thought that I am a failure. In 2020, I’m choosing to be gentle with my mental health and my body. My goals should surround me, not others and their opinions, and they shouldn’t be contingent on January 1st. After all, this life and this body are mine — I should care for myself no matter the date, no matter what anyone else thinks. This year, I’m choosing to cherish myself and be patient with my process. I’m choosing to begin a long journey of ups and downs but never failures all in the name of self-love. In 2020, I have realized that I am worth the empathy, tolerance, and love that I show everyone else, and so are you.


Emma Helrigel is a freshman at Michigan State University majoring in social work. In her free time she enjoys taking unnecessarily long naps, writing poetry, getting caught up on the most recent political events, and forgetting to stay hydrated.
Ananya is the President of Her Campus at Michigan State. She is majoring in Human Biology and minoring in Health Promotion, and post-graduation, she will be attending medical school! If she's not studying, you can find her watching TikToks or Grey's Anatomy!