Why It’s OK If You’ve Failed Your New Year’s Resolution

Newsflash: We’re already a month into 2019, and you more than likely have failed at keeping the resolutions you made just a few weeks ago.

I’m all about self-improvement, but we shouldn’t need a new calendar year to start on that important journey. Aren’t you tired of seeing captions on social media such as “New year, new me?” or “Thank u, next?” I know that I certainly am because I know that a leopard never changes their spots, and people will only change if they truly want to. I’m a firm believer in “show me, not tell me,” so when someone tells me they’re going to change, I don’t bear it any mind. I’m looking for more than words to prove that you’ll make real change, because following through requires actual effort, and putting hard work into your goals means that they’re worth your time.

Similarly, actions that don’t have any lasting effects can come across as hollow or disingenuous. Whether you are working on your mental health, getting in shape, trying to improve your relationship, or finding a better job, if you’re not 100% committed to your goal, then why bother to do it at all? The notion that people do things in the hopes of impressing someone else o takes away their true intentions in the first place.

Change starts with you. Every time that I’ve said that I wanted to change, people have given me words of motivation and tips.  They’ve done their best to try to hold me accountable. However, if I am the one who is not doing the work or putting in the time or effort to make those changes, then I only have myself to blame. For example, I have a coworker who  everyone has tried to help. We’ve all by given her advice and found ways for her to improve her life. But she has made minimal effort to effect change. Like the old saying goes, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.”

The biggest gripe I have about the “new year, new me” mantra is that it has become a marketing slogan that has turned a straightforward, honest code to live by into a commercial, sales-driven merchandise machine. Gyms, fitness studios, and clothing companies capitalize on people’s insecurities and vulnerabilities to make a quick buck. I do not feel bad for people who get suckered into the “new year, new me” hype, though. Instead, I feel sorry for them. I’m sorry that they feel that they have to “improve” to be part of a trend and they need the validation of others to do so.

There is no shame in wanting to change, to improve, and to be a better person than the one you currently are. We evolve as people when we learn from our past mistakes. It’d be insanity if we did the same thing over and over again and expected the same result. Whatever side of the coin you find yourself on in this conversation, remember that you are good enough, you can do whatever you want, and you only have to be responsible for yourself. So, in 2019, I will be doing a lot less “new year, new me” and lot more “new year, making a better me.”

Featured Photo by Timothy Paul Smith on Unsplash


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