It is that time of the year again when you have to sit down and reflect on your year and make a list of 3-25 things that you will start doing come January 1. I get all caught up in it too; the idea of starting fresh and focusing on bettering yourself is irresistible.

My friend believes that you shouldn’t get shit faced on New Years Eve because how you start the year is a reflection of how the year is going to go. Therefore, she doesn’t want intoxication and its effects to be the basis of 2015.

My problem is the socially constructed hype around resolutions. The New Year is a fresh start, a new chapter in our life book, the opportunity to put the past behind us, therefore, resolutions must be made to hope for a better year than the last. I bet “become fit”, “go to the gym more”, “eat healthier”, or any kind of variation of those is on your list. Everyone I ask includes wellness on their list; which isn’t a bad thing. I think everyone should strive to become a healthier and more active person, but waiting until January 1st to begin is a flaw in the idea of New Years. Why can’t you start on December 26, after you spent a whole day laying around and eating more than you should? Why not start on December 1, to prepare for the amount of food and drinking that will happen over the holidays? The problem with waiting until January 1st to create a list of often significant life changes is it puts a lot of pressure on you to follow all these new rules. Laugh more, eat less, find happiness, relax, be more productive; No wonder most people’s resolutions don’t make it past the end of the month. It’s easier to just live the life you were living before, maybe eating a few more vegetables.

I made a list of resolutions, some which are probably more realistic than others, mostly because I feel like I have to when a new year begins. I can’t ignore the opportunity to try to better myself. Hence the thoughts on why I am making this list, just like everyone else. What I think people should do instead is pick one thing per month that they want to improve in their lives. One improvement or change is more doable than ten all at the same time. It would also allow for the new changes to stick and become part of your life. You want to run a half marathon, find a new job, and be more social? Maybe you should aim to run 5K this month, book one interview, and pick one friend to go for coffee with more often. Less extreme, more possible to fit into your already busy life.

I’m not saying there is anything wrong with partying on New Year’s Eve or making a page long list of resolutions, I’m just saying that the socially constructed idea of what a new year means basically sets us up to fail with our new goals and ambitions. Use the New Year and fresh start to begin the journey to the person you want to be, building the base for your happy life.

 

What are your resolutions?

 

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