On New Year’s Resolutions

Author: Abby Resek

Along with the new year comes the unavoidable topic of ‘resolutions’. The will I, won’t I, jokingly yes, fundamentally against, don’t even want to think about it subject of ‘how will I be better this year?’

Just to preface this, I don’t have a set-in-stone recommendation one way or another. What I do have is a gentle reminder, because all I can really do is share my thoughts and hope they’ll be helpful. 

I stopped doing New Years resolutions a couple years ago. I think part of it is that I’m not great at sudden, cold-turkey changes. For some people, they’re a wonderful challenge and a test of willpower (and if that’s you, rock on!). For me, they brought a lot of stress and dissatisfaction. Asking myself to be better and then petering out or failing felt pretty rotten.

Then two years ago, I had a strange dual lightning strike of inspiration. One, what if I made a resolution that wasn’t so much about me, but about those around me? That year, I decided I was going to reduce plastic and paper waste (which was strangely easier to be successful at because it didn’t feel like a reflection on me). I also started doing what I like to think of as “New Year Cleaning”. For me, that means quite literally cleaning my space – my apartment, my closets, my books, my clothes, etc. – because clutter brings me stress. For some people, cleaning might be a social media cleaning (unfollow anyone that makes you feel crappy, etc. ). Or it might be trying to step away from any unhealthy relationships in your life. Either way, I like the idea of cleaning because instead of changing yourself to be better, you’re adjusting your environment so that you can be more at peace. 

If you’ve got a change you want to make, don’t let me (or anyone else) discourage you. All I can suggest is that we think carefully about what we’re changing (ourselves or our environment), and why. If you decide to say ‘screw you’ to resolutions as a whole, I’m behind you. If you, like me, enjoy a “New Year Cleaning”, I’m behind you. If you want to try something new because it’s 2019 and why not, I’m behind you. 

I’ll end with a mantra that I personally find helpful whenever I’m struggling to make changes or see improvement (in weightlifting or in life): consistency over progress, progress over perfection. 

Basically, whether you decide to keep on being awesome, or decide to be awesome in a different way, you are decidedly AWESOME. Cheers to 2019! 

Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash



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