Opinions

New year, not a new you

Opinions editor Kaitlin Baldwin explains why new years resolutions aren't always worth it. Creative commons image from Ondrejk on Wikipedia. 

By Kaitlin Baldwin

As we turn our calendars to the New Year, we take a moment from our busy lives to reflect on the past year. We think about our ups and downs, we look back on how our world and our lives have changed, and, most of all, we reflect on ourselves — our personalities, our interests, our relationships, our successes, our failures. We recall the resolutions that we swore to fulfill the last New Year, measuring the extent to which we accomplished them. If we check off almost every single resolution, every single goal, we give ourselves a pat on the back. Yet, this is usually not the case. Usually, we’ve barely fulfilled one or two of those resolutions. Upon realizing this, we add these old resolutions to our new lengthy list, vowing ourselves that this is the year to fulfill every single one of our ambitions. We tell ourselves that 2017 is finally the year to become healthier, to become nicer, to spend more time with family.

But what’s the point of waiting for the New Year? Why do we fall time and time again into the trap of believing that Jan. 1 is the day to switch into ambition mode? We need to realize that Jan. 1 is just another day on the calendar and cease limiting ourselves to only making or editing our goal list as the New Year comes to a close. Let’s stop waiting for the New Year and make more meaningful goals year round.

Our lives change so much from between January and December. Nine times out of ten our New Year’s resolutions will become outdated or unrealistic for our lives as the year goes on, causing us to either abort the mission or become frustrated at our lack of success. We become unmotivated. Yet, if we were to constantly update and make goals to fit our changing lives, we might have a better chance at succeeding.

We should make goals not because of the new year on the calendar, but from the desire of wanting to improve as a person. If we switch to this mindset, we will become less anxious about checking off our goals and more focused on genuinely fulfilling them.

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