It’s no secret that a lot of people treat a new year as an opportunity to start out with an entirely clean slate, leaving behind any and all negativity, bad habits, and every other stressor imaginable. Unfortunately, though, that “new year, new me” philosophy is not always so simple. After all, countless studies have concluded that approximately 92 percent of all of these so-called resolutions die by February — meaning only 8 percent are seen through and achieved by the following year.
Yet, we still head into every new year with that same hopeful spirit and determination to change our lives. Why?
Perhaps it’s because we experienced a lot of life-shaping events in the previous year and have come out the other side a different person. Or, we have finally weeded out the toxic people who kept us from reaching our goals for so long. Or, maybe we only feel this longing for change because everybody around us does, too.
Regardless, I think it’s time to put an end to all of this New Year’s resolution nonsense. Not because I think it’s worthless, or that the goals we each seem to set are unattainable. However, I think we are going about making these changes all wrong.
Rather than selecting a pain point and resolving to change it, we seem to make goals that align with whatever is trendy at the moment — whether that be getting in shape, better organizing one’s life, or improving one’s financial habits. Maybe that is why so many of these New Year’s resolutions fail — because they aren’t created organically.
Additionally, why do we always feel we have to overhaul our lives at the beginning of a new year? What makes us believe we will wake up on January 1 and suddenly love going to the gym or eating healthier foods when we couldn’t stand the thought of these activities the day before? Why do we hold ourselves to such unrealistic expectations, then act so shocked and disappointed when we go right back to our old habits a few months later?
All I am saying is if you are going to make a change to your life in 2018, make it happen because you want to. Not because it’s trendy or because you feel pressured to start this new year off on the right foot. Instead, adapt your lifestyle on your own time, at your own pace, and because you are confident this decision will seriously improve your quality of life. You may find that treating yourself with this level of kindness and understanding was all the motivation you needed to begin with.