New Year’s Resolutions Aren’t For Everyone, And That’s Okay
It’s the beginning of a new year, and everyone is asking what your new year’s resolution is. It’s expected, it’s stressful, and it’s kind of annoying.
January is always hard for me. I’m suddenly very aware of the resolutions I set for myself last year and how I managed to fail every single one of them, which certainly isn’t very inspiring. I want to be that aspirational, optimistic goal-setting person, but to be honest, setting a goal for an entire year is very overwhelming.
Last year, I set a goal to finish my book. Was I successful? Hell no. It wasn’t a wildly unrealistic goal, but I didn’t give myself the proper steps to get there.
In my experience, new year’s resolutions tend to be vague and overly ambitious, which is probably why most of us never follow through.
If you’re someone who loves new year’s resolutions, awesome! They can be really beneficial to your mental health and set you up for a positive mindset starting the new year. A clean slate always feels good. Maybe you won’t follow through, maybe you will, but you’re starting the year off with a positive attitude and that’s dope.
For me, new year’s resolutions instigate self doubt and anxiety. What if I can’t do it? Am I even good enough to make this happen? I am going to hate myself if I mess this up. So if it isn’t for you, set smaller goals. An out of reach goal isn’t helpful when there’s no end in sight, so you need stepping stones and tools to get you to the place you strive to be.
For me, I’m revising last year’s goal. Instead of writing an entire book (which gives me anxiety just typing it on this page), my goal is to write 4,000 words a week. It’s a small goal, an attainable goal, and something I truly believe I can do. If you can break it down into bite-sized pieces that challenge but don’t overwhelm you, then it’s possible. In this case, I didn’t even really change my goal — it’s still the same. By writing 4,000 words a week, I will have a finished book by the end of the year. By abandoning the yearly goal and breaking it up into weekly goals instead, by simply rephrasing it into something that feels attainable, I am more likely to succeed.
Goals are useful tools that can push us to become the people we want to be. I’m all for new year’s resolutions if they work for you, but why should we only set goals once a year? Challenging ourselves daily is what helps us grow, and keeping ourselves accountable on a steady, maintained basis is a much healthier way to live.