18 Jan New Year, Same Me: Some Thoughts on New Year’s Resolutions
In the last week or two, you’ve probably heard, read, and maybe even uttered the phrase, “New Year, New Me.”
The phrase is sometimes said without much thought — a brash statement of confidence in sunnier days ahead. However, this statement is often accompanied by the ever-controversial New Year’s resolution.
So, are New Year’s resolutions useless commitments that are crumpled and thrown out before February, or are they serious commitments and goals to strive for (if not complete) in the year ahead?
In theory, New Year’s resolutions are great. While it would be better to engage in constant self-reflection, for most this isn’t a reality. We don’t often take the time to think about what mistakes we’ve made and how we can be a better person. So, to have a specific time each year dedicated to self-reflection seems, on the surface, to be a positive thing. Even if you don’t keep your resolutions, maybe taking a moment to acknowledge what you could be doing better is a step in the right direction.
That being said, “New Year, New Me” takes it too far. Firstly, it just isn’t feasible for the change in the clock to lead to an absolute transformation of self. For example, this year, I promised myself not to let _______ bother me. No surprise, counting down to 2017 didn’t cure me of all irrational emotion.
Also, isn’t it a little pessimistic to desire an utterly and completely new version of yourself, rather than an improved version? Like we did with 2016 (which, according to Buzzfeed, was the worst year ever), we are apt to see ourselves in an all-too-harsh light. We see all the bad and none of the good. Thus, New Year’s resolutions should also mean taking a moment to appreciate what you did well this year: the things you accomplished, the friendships you made, the lives you touched.
Let’s make resolutions (even if we break them) and let’s not forget to appreciate what we did well this this year. Let’s remember that change is a long-term plan, not an instantaneous solution.
So, for now: New Year, Same Me.
Will I improve myself before 2018 rolls around? Probably not—but I’m going to try.