On Dec. 31 the clock will strike midnight and the phrase “New Year, New Me” will begin trending on social media. Saying in the next year you are going to become a new person is an empty promise, at most. In reality, using New Year’s as an excuse for changing your life means that your life-changing decision probably isn’t going anywhere. The phrase “New Year, New Me” is ridiculous.
On New Year’s Day, people will make bold resolutions about how they are going to do amazing things and completely change who they were the year before. From pledging to lose 25 pounds to vowing to giving up social media, I believe that New Year’s resolutions set people up for disappointment. These resolutions are made of big dreams and high expectations that the majority of people cannot accomplish.
Using a holiday to tell yourself you are going to change for the better is absurd. In fact, the odds are against you. According to a U.S. News and World Report from 2015, approximately 80 percent of resolutions are forgotten by the second week of February. That means, if my math is correct, you’ve waited a whole year to implement a resolution that will stay in action for roughly 50 days. Seems like a lot of work for such little payoff, at least to me.
Let me introduce you to holiday remorse. I’m sure you’re all familiar with it. It’s the regret you feel after eating and spending too much during the holidays. Throughout the holiday season, the cumulation of calories eaten and dollars spent lead you to believe that you need a switch. Next year, you’ll be better. I hate to break it to you, but you won’t be better, you’ll be the same person you were the previous year, and the year before, and the year before.
That doesn’t mean you can’t try to be a better person, but…if you need a holiday to convince yourself you’ll be a better person…how good of a person were you to begin with? Shouldn’t you strive to be a better person every day of the year?
You choose one day out of a whole year to try and change yourself. Doesn’t that sound redundant? After that, you wait an entire year to try and improve yourself again. Twitter fills with tweets saying “2018 will be my year.” Flash-forward to next New Year’s Eve, and those tweets now read, “Nevermind. 2018 was a trash heap. 2019 is where it’s at.” Is 2019 really where it’s at? My bets are on no.
I’m not just expressing my opinion towards the ridiculous nature of New Year’s resolutions, I’m expressing my opinion towards the ridiculous fact that I’ve made them. I’m no stranger when it comes to failed resolutions, either. Last year I tried to make a resolution to keep toxic people out of my life. And I failed. Turns out that person wasn’t so bad. I’ve decided that I shouldn’t have to wait an entire year to change something about me and that I should be able to do that whenever I feel it is necessary.
I have found that instead of making resolutions it is easier to set specific goals. Instead of saying you are going to get in shape, sign up for a Outer Banks Flying Pirate Half Marathon. If you plan on giving up a bad habit, like swearing (God forbid!), set a goal to not swear for a day, then a week, then a month. Accomplishing something, though it may be small, reminds you that you can successfully fulfill a commitment.
It’s not all about the plan for the next year, sometimes, it’s about the plan for the next day that is the most effective.
Everyone needs to stop saying “New Year, New Me” and try to make yourself better one day at a time and not worry about the 364 that will follow.