Feel free to call me a pessimist after initially reading the title of this article, but I have never liked or accepted the concept of making New Year's resolutions. I don't remember exactly when I decided to unsubscribe to the whole "new year, new beginnings" idea, but I know it came from a place of realism rather than pessimism, and feel like it has actually changed my outlook on life as a whole for the better.
When we think of New Year's resolutions, most people automatically think of them as unattainable goals that we set on New Year's Day, only to forget about them before the month's end.
This is the first problem I have with New Year's resolutions, as I do not believe that associating real changes you want to make in your life with an idea of impending failure is productive at all. While some people thrive when they are trying to beat expectations, this is not a sustainable source of motivation for many others.
When you have a constant voice in the back of your mind, or even people around you in real life constantly telling you that you are destined to fail just because so many other people have at their resolutions, it is easy to become consumed with the negative energy.
The threat of impending failure can also cause an unnecessary amount of stress in pursuing an unattainable goal. You truly can do anything if you want it bad enough, but making a resolution to do something like losing a massive amount of weight within one year can be extremely unhealthy. We all should have lofty goals, but achieving them should not come at a cost to our mental or physical health. Sometimes difficult goals can take more than one year to achieve, which should be totally OK.
Then, if you put everything you have into a resolution rather than forgetting about it a week later and still do not achieve it, this again can be detrimental to your health. I am a big advocate for making lifestyle changes rather than following strict diets or quick fixes to problems we have with ourselves. Changing your outlook on life as a whole rather than forcing yourself into a box that fits society's perception of how you should live is healthier, and more sustainable.
This December 31st we can all look forward to a new year, but nothing about January 1, 2018 means that anything about your life is going to instantaneously change. You will be the same person you were just 24 hours before, and have just as much power to change your life as you would any other day of the year.
Have the courage to change in the middle of a month, in the middle of the year. When you set goals when you want and are ready, your intrinsic motivation is likely to be stronger than any fear of breaking a New Year's resolution ever could.