I want to start off by saying that I don’t mean to be negative towards all those who are working hard to accomplish their goals. If you are motivated to make a change in your life, I seriously commend your actions and determination!

I am all for a celebration. A time to reminisce on everything that has happened throughout my life. A time to appreciate all of the things I have been so graciously blessed with. A time to spend with the people who matter the most to me. A time to reflect on all that I have overcome. Life’s greatest gifts are well worth celebrating. And for many people, the New Year is the best excuse to have such a celebration.

But my problem with associating this celebration with the New Year is that many people really focus on the “New Year, New Me” theory.

The New Year is expected to be a time for you to forget all the painful memories you have experienced in the past year, and make a change for the future. We spend all the time leading up to the new year talking about how we can’t wait for the past year to be over. It was so horrible, nothing seemed to go right for us, and this new year is going to be “our year.” But here is the thing, every year brings us new and different challenges. Yes, some years may be more difficult than others, but they all have their tough times. And to expect the next year to be easier than the last is only setting yourself up for failure. The past years also all have good moments. I don’t know a single person who could honestly tell me that they did not have at least one good memory from 2016. Do you?

People also have this big expectation that they have to come up with resolutions that, more often than not, are unsuccessful.

We make ourselves a set of new year’s resolutions that are really just a group of goals that we want to accomplish but probably never will. We want to lose weight, we want to reconnect with old friends, we want to work harder. We want change but we are not willing, or don’t know how, to take the steps to make the change. For those who do follow through, I seriously applaud you. There is often so much that gets in the way, that we even forget what we set out to do in the first place.

A lot of my concern comes from the perception that we need to change something about ourselves. And somehow the only way we can do so is at the start of a new year. We say things like “starting next year, I’m going to…” or “I can’t wait for things to change this year.” We do it because we have this feeling that the New Year is what can bring us the change. But we are wrong.

2017 is not going to be easier than 2016. We are still going to be faced with new and unexpected challenges. And 2016 wasn’t as horrible as we all thought it was. We met new people, we made memories with family and friends, and overall, we made it through. We made it to another year, so congratulations!

The new year is also not just magically going to make us have the desire to eat healthy or be more active. All of the change you are hoping will occur this year has got to come from YOU. We all have things we want to improve in our lives, but in order to do so, we have to be internally motivated and determined. Just because it is a new year does not mean that our lives will change. Only we can do that.

All I want to leave you with is this. New Years should be a celebration. It should be a celebration of everything we have experienced, everything we have been blessed with, and all that we have the potential to do. But we shall not focus so much on this one day, January 1st, to be the day that changes our life. Change can occur on any of the 365 days throughout the year. Appreciation for everything we have can be expressed at all times. New Year’s Day is just another day that we are fortunate to have reached.