Dec. 31 is fast approaching like a train you didn’t see coming. Better yet, it is Dec. 31 and the feeling of panic rushes through your body like a sort of shock wave. It’s New Year’s Eve, and you haven’t made your list of resolutions yet.
I used to be utterly obsessed with making sure I had a list of resolutions written down for the new year. It seemed like merely writing down these mostly unattainable goals helped me feel like I was well on my way to living my best life. The irony is that it wasn’t until this past year, when I was in my worst mental state that my obsession with resolutions became no more. I finally feel that I have attained the closest thing to mental clarity that I’ve ever felt, which has lead me to the conclusion that New Year’s resolutions are seriously ludicrous.
The obsession we have with resolutions is unfounded. Only eight per cent of people who make resolutions actually stick to them. Don’t get me wrong, I couldn’t be more supportive of people taking steps to improve their lives. Everyone should set goals for themselves because we are constantly evolving beings.
The first problem, though, starts with the word “resolutions” itself. I never realized how much I absolutely hate that word until this year. It almost leaves a foul taste in my mouth. It insinuates that something is wrong with you, that there is something to resolve or fix.
If you do feel like you want to set goals for the upcoming year, that’s great! But try swapping out the word “resolutions” for “intentions.” “Intentions” sounds more positive and lively, like something that you are aiming for just to add some rainbow sprinkle onto how awesome you already are.
Also, factor in the bombardment of media and advertising about New Year’s fitness or health resolutions all throughout the month of January — seriously, who really has time for that? If your “intention” is to lose weight, you are not alone. As The Telegraph reported, the top three New Year’s resolutions are to exercise more, lose weight and eat healthier. But start with something attainable. No, you don’t need to cut out pasta entirely or lose 20 pounds in a month. Create a game plan that makes you feel good and that you are comfortable with. Recognize that, yes, reaching your goal of losing weight might make you feel accomplished and healthier, but true happiness comes from within.
As I was reflecting on the concept of resolutions and why I am ditching that term for good, I realized that self-love is never part of popular lists of resolutions advertised in mainstream media. For me, self-love was on the top of my intentions list this year. I promised myself that every day I will remind myself that I am enough and that I’m growing into the person I’m meant to be at my own pace. That is happiness.
Why don’t we learn to embrace this concept, to love this concept? Reaching for these unattainable resolutions that preoccupy us every year only leads to feelings of disappointment and failure. This is why ditching the term “resolutions” needs to be on the top of everyone’s list this year. Instead, let’s set intentions to become better humans, for ourselves and for others. To love and forgive ourselves, every day, no matter where we’re at.
Goodbye to the panic-inducing train. I won’t miss it.