“New year, new me.” Every year this phrase takes over every conversation and social media post on January first. We are motivated to become the version of ourselves that we dream of being: the smarter, more attractive, funnier, or more confident version of who we are. But what I’ve come to find is New Year’s resolutions just aren’t realistic. No one is a bigger culprit for making an unrealistic New Year’s resolution than myself. And while I’m all for self-improvement, each New Year’s Eve, I’m left feeling defeated, never feeling like I achieved my goals from last year. No matter what the past year has brought, without a dramatic transformation into some genius/Olympic athlete/supermodel, I always feel like my goals can’t be met.
The concept of a New Year’s resolution invites a pressure to be better for the sake of seeing results instead of the encouragement of a fresh start that it should bring. Nataly Kogan, a best-selling author and keynote speaker on emotional well-being, emphasizes the power of a fresh start rather than the pressure of a resolution. She says one of the most influential things you can do to avoid feeling defeated about past new years resolutions is to make a list of all the things you are proud of in the past year and then make a list of ways you want to make yourself proud in the new year. Changing your perspective from “things I want to accomplish” to “ways I want to make myself proud” can make all the difference.
So this year, I’m excited to announce that although it’s a new year, it’s still the same me. I will celebrate the qualities about myself that I have pushed aside in lieu of waiting for my miraculous glow-up or sudden change in personality. I will be proud of my accomplishments, big or small. I will let 2023 be the year that I ditch New Year’s resolutions once and for all.
That’s not to say I can’t work on myself in 2023. I can still motivate myself to work hard in school, push myself to be more outgoing, or challenge myself to read 50 books this year. To tell the truth, I don’t know for sure what my goals will be for 2023. But I know for sure that by the time 2024 rolls around, I won’t spend any time dwelling on failed resolutions, but rather I will celebrate all I have accomplished in a year.
Featured image via Benjamin Speigel from Martech.