New Year’s No Resolutions
This year I will not be making new year's resolutions. I know it may sound strange, but this is something I’ve given a lot of thought to. Each year, we beat ourselves up for not sticking with the things we set out to do on January 1st. Then we feel bad about ourselves, like we can’t commit to making changes, and it doesn’t help with our wellbeing. In an attempt to be more conscious of my mental health, new year’s no resolutions is something I am mindfully supporting.
I want to think of the new year as a time to focus on exploring more of who I am and what I am capable of becoming, instead of setting unrealistic goals and expectations that are inevitably bound to be broken. And I’m not saying that it isn’t an appropriate time to think of goals you’d like to achieve in the year ahead — whether they are work, health, or self-related, I’m all about setting goals — but I want to approach the new year differently this time. I want to encourage positivity and growth without making strict guidelines for 2019, because let’s be honest: our lives can be messy and hard to predict.
Our society as a whole is very judgemental, and we are often hard on ourselves — too hard. The combination of societal and self judgment is a lot of pressure for one human being to handle, so I think it’s time we shift our mindsets so that at the end of each year we don’t feel as if we’ve failed, but instead notice how much we’ve grown.
Normally on January 1st, we think of the previous 365 days as a checklist we didn’t complete, when we should be admiring how hard we worked and thinking about the opportunities a new year presents itself with. A new year should open more windows and allow continual growth to the progress we’ve already made, not act as limiting to-dos like resolutions suggest.
Often, the hardest approvals are from our own selves. So once in a while we need to remind ourselves of how great we are doing, and what better day to do so than the start of a new year. I truly think the new year should be a time for everyone to do more to support each other and make conscientious decisions that will better our mental health. This will lead us to a fuller, more honest recognition for who we can grow to be.
This year, my intentions stray from resolutions and shift towards appreciation for my journey, the people who have lifted me up, and the opportunity to keep growing. It feels so satisfying to go into the new year with a fresh start, without the pressures of floating expectations. To start the year with a positive, healthy mindset — to start the year not as new, but as continually evolving.