Screw 'New Year, New Me!' — This New Year, Appreciate Your Growth
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Screw 'New Year, New Me!' — This New Year, Appreciate Your Growth

It's hard to see your progress if you're just looking at what you want to improve.

Screw 'New Year, New Me!' — This New Year, Appreciate Your Growth

Every year, we say "good riddance" to 20whatever and ring in a new start. "New year, new me," the common phrase, litters our Instagram captions. We make resolutions: go to the gym, eat better, study harder, something like that.

The fresh start of a new calendar year feels really good, but at the same time, there's always been something disappointing about it to me.

What did 2018 mean to you?

Sure, it was a little bit of a hot mess at times. I could have studied more, cleaned more often, practiced my instrument more, and overall done better. The news is a disaster. Everyone around me is stressed, tired, or otherwise just sad. My apartment is a mess, and don't even ask about my closet at home. I got sick, got migraines, missed class, cried to my cat and/or therapist, and was overall burnt out. I, like you, struggled through this year, and I'm not sorry to see it go.

But at the same time, amidst all of those mistakes and shortcomings, I did so much this year. I was awesome at my jobs, and I even got a new one. I maintained good grades. I built up the courage to revamp my wardrobe and dye my hair. I moved into an awesome apartment with the best roommates, met new people, and became closer with so many others. The SimCity on my iPhone is doing pretty well. I joined an online writing platform that lets me write a lot. I continued learning ASL as a second language. I watched my sisters grow another year, start to get jobs and great grades in the school that I graduated from. I stood by and cheered as some of my amazing Speech and Debate students won tournaments. I gave a freakin' TEDx Talk!

And perhaps most importantly, I stood by my loved ones as they struggled through this year, too. We leaned on each other, supported each other, and had a lot of fun doing it all together.

I know it seems like this year sucked. I know it seems like you could've done better. But at the same time, look at where you were last year, or a few years ago. You may not have fully kept to your resolution, lost/gained the weight you wanted or gotten those grades all the way up to an A. But look at all the progress you've made! This year has been another important year of growth, and if it didn't entirely go your way, that's alright.

Take what you learned and accomplished this year and bring it forward with you.

So this year, instead of writing a resolution, write down your favorite parts of 2018. Whatever you accomplished, whatever you enjoyed, whatever you were excited about--list those. And then list what you're looking forward to in 2019. Sure, it's good to have goals, but don't beat yourself up at the end of every year.

Self-improvement isn't like the Sims where you earn a concrete level at a time. It's a process, and every experience matters.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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