It's December 31stand like clockwork I am preparing my New Year Resolutions. I'm sitting down with a pen, a pad, and a list of goals and expectations for the new year. It's always the same. I want to lose a few pounds, go to sleep by 10 pm, wake up at 6 a.m., create a schedule for my day, join a protest, start and keep a journal, be more adventurous; the list is endless and detailed. Despite the fact that it's the same, I can never check them off my list. I can never keep the journal or constantly schedule my day. In my mind, I need to reach all the goals by December 31st or I have failed as a person. The new year, new me craze always felt like I was expected to completely change the second the clock hit 12:00. However, that is not the case.

There are two parts to New Year's Resolutions: starting them at the beginning of the year and the disappointment I always face at the end of the year when I look over my list and realize I accomplished nothing from it. I haven't lost the 20 pounds, I didn't improve my sleep schedule, I have five journals with only one page filled out, I haven't traveled all over the world. I haven't improved. Or at least that's how it seems.

This past year I may not have checked off my goals, but I have changed. I may not have lost the extra 20 pounds or organized every aspect of my life, but I did accomplish things over the year. Instead of losing 20 pounds, I became more comfortable in my own skin. Instead of starting a journal, I started my book. Instead of traveling the world, I explored new places in my own town. Instead of joining a protest, I learned to listen. Instead of becoming a brand-new person, I became I better version of the person I already was, which is a harder task to accomplish.

Because of the list I wrote and shared, I felt that it was unchangeable. I mean I told people my goals, if I back out, they will think less of me. What I failed to realize was that my goals should be for me, not for others. I change through the year, therefore it's only natural that my goals change as well. I used to hate December 31st because it marked the end to another unproductive year, however, now I look forward to it because I get to see how my goals have changed and developed over the year. I get to see who I have become even if it's not what I expected.