January 1, 2017

By: 
Rachel Strella

I Resolve to Stop Making New Year’s Resolutions

 

new yearIt’s the start of a New Year – a time when many are hoping for a fresh start – embarking on resolutions with the intent of making this year better than the last. I support everyone who is committed to improvement and I wish them much success. As for me, I could care less about the start of a new year.

I don’t wish to celebrate the beginning of January, new year or not. Characterized by cold weather, snow storms and short days, January could arguably be the most depressing month of the year. Before you yell, bah humbug, hear me out.

I was talking with a friend who seemed surprised that I wasn’t planning to stay up to ring in the New Year. I told her a shortened version of my distaste for January. She laughed and said, but ‘it’s time to set new goals.’ I told her that I don’t need a new year to set goals. I set goals all year long.

That’s when it hit me. It’s not that I’m pessimistic about the holiday. I’m indifferent. I don’t need a calendar to decide when it’s time to make a change. I don’t need a Monday, the 1st of the month, or first of the year to set a goal.

It’s common knowledge that most New Year’s resolutions fail and I can understand why. If we need a new year to establish a goal, we’re setting ourselves up for failure. Why not make a change, well…when it’s time to make a change? Why not commit to a goal on a date or time that you see fit, not when the calendar says so?

Do we lack the motivation to do it on our own? Or do we lack direction? Do we need communal support? Or, is it tradition to set a goal on a new year, just like eating pork and sauerkraut?

Most of us know when we need to make a change and I’m going to assume it’s not always going to fall on January 1. Do we define insanity by setting goals for a new year when history shows that we fail to achieve them?

In the movie, Home Alone, the McAllister’s woke up late and were racing to the airport to catch their plane. Peter told Uncle Frank to remain positive. Uncle Frank’s response was, “you be positive, Peter, I’ll be realistic.” While they made the plane, they clearly left a huge asset behind.

Perhaps a better question might be, is it realistic to establish new year’s resolutions? I can only speak for myself when I say, nope! But, I’m happy to tell you the goals I’m currently working toward.

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