New year’s resolutions have taken a new form amongst Gen Z, particularly on TikTok. Trends such as being “that girl” and “rebranding yourself” have taken the app by storm, at least on my for you page.
While I fully understand and support the desire for self-improvement, I also recognize the harmful messages that these TikTok trends as well as the overall new year’s resolution tradition in society have implanted into young people’s minds, which is why I will not be participating in either.
I am currently on year six of my self-improvement journey. It all started when I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression at age 14. Ever since then, I have been committed to working through these issues in order to be the best version of myself for myself and the people in my life. However, this did not come without a cost.
My strong dedication to recovery caused me to place a demand on myself to constantly be improving, thus, leaving no room to be a human being who makes mistakes. I later realized that this stems from deep-rooted insecurities and never feeling “good enough.” Even when I accomplished a goal, I never felt proud of myself and always asked “what’s next?”
My unrealistic standards for myself also caused me to postpone my own happiness. A message I frequently tell myself is “Once I achieve ___, I will be happy.” The truth is, solely achieving certain goals will not make you happy. It is great to accomplish what you want in life, but true happiness comes from being grateful for and content with what you have at the present moment.
What I Will Do Instead
In the past, my new year’s resolutions were extremely superficial. I wanted to lose weight, make more money or purchase a certain luxury item. These are wonderful things to strive for; however, they would never help me reach my main goal of finding happiness. Therefore, I plan to do things a little differently this year.
In 2022, my main focus is to be grateful and present. I plan to spend as much time as I can with the people I love, dedicate more time to my hobbies, and live in the moment as best as I can. I have already started a gratitude journal and plan to brainstorm more ways I can work towards this goal.
If there is one thing I want you to take away from this, it is this: you deserve to be kind to yourself no matter what stage of improvement you are at.