Why You Shouldn’t Change Because of the New Year

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There is something magical about a New Year. Not only do you get to say goodbye to the old, but you get a metaphorical clean slate. While it’s not always easy to let go of all of the mistakes you’ve made and start anew, January 1st is the day that begins a new chapter in your life. If you didn’t like the previous year, now is your time to make some changes and do things differently. This is why people come up with a list of resolutions. They say things like “this year I’m going to be a better person” or “this year I’m going to start being more active.”

While these are both great aspirations, it’s not necessarily a good idea to decide to make lifestyle changes because you closed one 365 page book and are now starting a new one. It takes a lot to change. Saying you’re going to do something now means nothing if you couldn’t do it a week ago or even a month ago. I have a lot of friends who post their resolutions on social media every year and people like them and comment how they want to make the same changes, but I can’t help but notice that their resolutions are the same as ones from last year.

Again, there is nothing wrong with change. Change is healthy. Especially when you genuinely want to better your life by working on your health, choose more carefully who you let into your life, or even by coming to the realization that some of the choices you make aren’t the best and you want to do something about that. Whatever the case may be, change is something that we as young people will experience throughout our lives, particularly during the early stages. We don’t have control over all of the changes that happen, but we do have control over some.

So take control over your life.

If you think that you already have control and you’re one of those people who lives by the whole ‘New Year, New Me’ mantra, then I’m afraid that you aren’t in control. I say this because, if you were in control, you wouldn’t need a New Year to want to become a ‘new you’. You would change when you want to change without resolutions or the allure of the New Year being a clean slate.

I won’t deny that there are people who genuinely decide to change in the New Year because those people do exist and their resolutions are more than statements to them; they are actions. If you want to change, then that’s wonderful. But don’t do it because it’s a New Year. That’s like wearing pink because it’s Wednesday. Maybe that’s not the best comparison but the point is that don’t say you’re going to change your life because of the time. Say you’re going to change because you honestly want to do it; after you come to the realization that you want to make changes, turn those wants into actions!

Many people say they want to lose weight or travel more or do this and do that on January 1st, but then 365 days go by and they haven’t lost anything, they haven’t travelled anywhere, and they haven’t done all of the things they said they were going to do a year ago. This is not to put anyone down – we all encounter obstacles that keep us from doing the things we set out to do, and that’s okay. It’s life. But, with that said, it’s important to strive to be impeccable with your word. I talked about this in another post, though I think it bares repeating. Say what you mean and mean what you say. If you say that you want to do something, then do it! I know that some of the things we want to do requires work and pushing through any and all obstacles and, above all, time. But that’s okay.

It’s okay if you can’t achieve your goals in a day, or a week, or even a year. That’s not the point of change. Change is ongoing, so don’t be discouraged by time. And don’t let it control when or even why you want to begin the process of changing something in your life, either.

Just do it.

Image: New Old Stock