Tomorrow is January 1st, and suddenly there is an expectation for us to come up with some sort of life-changing plan on how we will become a new person by the time the new year is over. New Year’s Resolutions have taken over social media and put pressure on all of us to figure out what kind of person we want to be next year, and in this case, the next decade. But we don’t need to subscribe to that ideology. Instead, we should try to focus more on bettering ourselves by making small changes that we can maintain throughout the new year and decade.
As someone who lives with anxiety, manic-depressive disorder, and has experienced eating disorders, I understand what it’s like to feel as though your resolution has to be picture-perfect. But it doesn’t have to be! Your resolution is about you, not anyone else.
Being a perfectionist, I still get stressed about what my resolution will be every new year. Will this be the year I finally stick with a consistent gym routine or eat healthy? Will it be the year I actually cut back on the 3 *cough 6 cough* cups of coffee I drink every day? Will it be the year I stick to a normal sleep schedule? Will it be the year I get a passport and travel to a new place in the world like I’ve been saying I would since I was 16?
The truth is, I have no idea what this year might bring. But I do know one thing: your New Year’s Resolution doesn’t have to be so drastic. It doesn’t have to be more impressive than anyone else’s. It doesn’t have to show that you’re going to become a completely new person. It should be something small that you can realistically adopt into your life. You don’t have to adhere to the “new year, new me” trend that seemingly everyone buys into. Instead, just be kind to yourself and come up with something to improve your mental health.
With that in mind, I’ve decided that my New Year’s Resolution will actually be a list of small things I can do for myself. I’m not going to set a strict schedule or hold myself to any unrealistic standards, but rather create a loose guideline for how I can be as kind as possible to myself.
To make my list, I asked myself two important questions that I will also ask all of you: if you had “2020” vision for the future, how would you want your new year and new decade to look? What will you do to make that vision a reality?
After asking myself these questions, I realized what I really want, and what most people likely want when they make their resolutions, is to be happy and confident with who I am and where I stand. More specifically, I want to be proud of the person I have become. I want to consider myself successful. I want to feel fulfilled.
I can accomplish all of these by making small changes in my day-to-day life. So my resolutions for 2020 will be to write more, take more time for myself, try to become more organized, and stop saying yes to things that don’t make me happy. In 2020, I want to focus on myself and becoming the best version of me. I want to stop using temporary fixes to feel better and start making real changes to help my mental health.
I don’t need to tell myself I want to go on a diet or lose weight. I need to figure out what’s going on in my mind that makes me believe my body is not enough as it is. I don’t need to restrict my caffeine intake, but rather ask myself why I’m so tired in the first place. The same goes for trying to set a strict sleep schedule. I don’t need to convince myself and everyone else that this will be my year of adventure. I need to believe in my potential and see where it takes me if I trust myself.
So now I ask all of you—what is it that you truly want for yourself next year? How do you see yourself accomplishing those goals? And where is the pressure to fulfill those resolutions coming from?
I look forward to seeing where 2020 takes me, and I hope that by the end of it, I can say without a doubt that I’m happier and more confident with who I am. And I hope the same for all of you. Here’s to 2020!