You would think after a few decades, the "New Year's Resolution people" flooding the gym for one tedious month joke would die out. It's one of the most common "facts" of our American culture—people inevitably abandon their new year's resolutions.
More often than not, these abandoned promises often circle around health and fitness. Whether it is a pledge to go keto, cut out carbs, or go to the gym every. single. day, Americans cannot seem to retain this promise well into February, let alone for the remainder of the calendar year. While it may be just a staple of American culture—do everything all at once, as hard as you can, it will ultimately be our downfall in a multitude of areas. We refuse to vote because our one, single vote won't make a massive change on its own. We can't seem to lose weight because as long as there's a plate in front of us, regardless of size we will finish it. We don't just want electricity and running water, we want every light on for 23 hours a day and just that one for security for the final hour. We need the water running as we brush our teeth, because, we just do? And you better believe that even though I just got this iPhone a year ago and it is running quite smoothly, I will dump every penny I have given to the Constar in the grocery store to get my hands on the newest model. Americans do not understand moderation, and New Year's Resolutions are simply the scapegoat for the bad habit we just cannot kick as a culture.
In this wave of "too much", the bad habit seemed to drown healthy lifestyles this past year, creating a skewed, dangerous diet culture filled with social media dietitians. As 2018 concluded, I decided to reflect on myself as an American. I spent a majority of my 2018 (7 months to be exact) cutting calories like crazy in order to lose as much weight as possible. Though I was not super sizing and gorging like my human bio professor scolded half of the US population for doing, my "too much" trait was still killing me as rapidly as obesity is killing Americans. I needed to lose weight as fast as possible and as many pounds as I could shed. I was obsessed, and 2, 5, 10, 15, 20, 30 pounds were not enough.
With January soon approaching, I decided to dabble in the fun of a New Year's Resolution. Even if there isn't something you necessarily want to change for the coming year, it's fascinating to discover what the one thing you truly want to focus on is. I looked at my skin and bone pictures and shuddered. I knew any form of a health, diet, or exercise resolution would be playing devil's advocate for my Ana complex. Instead, I took on a different New Year's Resolution, and it's one you can take up too at this very moment. I decided my New Year's Resolution would be to travel more this year.
Cliche, yes, and also caused exercise to be a hidden secondary resolution. However, my resolution does not stop there. Before the clock struck midnight, everyone went around the table stating what their pledge to themselves would be in just a few minutes. After stating mine, after getting the nods of "hm, that's cool", I followed up with my part two. When I inevitably fail by February tops, I'll smile at the root touch-ups, fuzzy jackets, new Vans, and endless Cava bowls that I chose over a travel fund and drop a 20 in the empty jar. While my resolution is to travel, my overarching pledge to myself is to maintain my resolution when I inevitably fail. It's okay that you stopped going to the gym after 3 weeks of going every day for 3 hours. It's okay that you ate chocolate cake after a month of celery stalks and quinoa you had no idea how to properly cook and season. What is not okay is allowing this cold-turkey induced cheat day to perpetuate bad habits. Here is your get out of jail free card—allow a do-over to be your real New Years Resolution and kick your "too much" habit out of your 2019.