It's Totally Fine If You Don't Have a New Year's Resolution

In theory, a New Year's resolution sounds like a wonderful concept. Out with the old, in with the new—an opportunity to leave the past behind and start fresh.

But in reality, reaching these overnight goals can be impractical. The pressure to make significant change just because the calendar moves forward one day is oftentimes more than one can really handle. Between school, work, finances, health (mental and physical) and simple quality of life, it's difficult for many of our aspirations to ever see the light of day.

It's not to say they truly can't happen (because for many, they do!), but no one should feel pressured to turn their world upside down because the clock strikes midnight on a new year.

I've written about New Year's resolutions many times in the past because I find them fascinating. And as someone who has lived multiple decades, I can tell you this year was probably the very first time I actually stuck to mine—but wait, without even making one! Each year, I'd vow to start working out regularly or eating healthy or this or that, and because I didn't hold myself accountable to anything this year, I actually held up to my unspoken pledge. I didn't do much exercise through January because I knew I wasn't ready. Why force myself into something I would dread? As mid-February approached, I decided I wanted to give this a go. And before I knew it, I completed a traditional New Year's resolution without even realizing it.

Ultimately, what matters as the years go by is that you're consistently moving forward—whatever that entails. Maybe it's health and fitness, but maybe it's your relationships. Maybe it's school or your career. Whatever you do in life should always put you ahead of where you were before.

Unsplash: Girl in classroom thinking and daydreaming on top of book

(via Unsplash)

You don't need to give in to the pressures of some extravagant, time-consuming goal. Sure, if you're up for that kind of challenge, then by all means, push yourself to achieve it! But for the average person, making even the tiniest changes (ie. making your bed each morning or picking out your clothes the night before) can actually have a great impact on your life.

When we overcommit to something big, or don't spend at least a month preparing for it prior, we set ourselves up for failure. We overdo it the first week or so of the year and then we burn out. Be realistic with yourself and what you need to prioritize. Again, the most important thing is moving forward. Whatever you can do to stay on a steady path, that's what's going to improve your life most.

It's also important to take into consideration that you may very well be on a great path, and that you don't necessarily have to buy into the whole "clean slate" idea. While it's always beneficial to look ahead instead of dwelling on the past (for better or worse), don't discredit the progress you've made leading up to this point. Why have a fresh start when you can have a steady continuation? Ultimately, think about what feels right to you and don't succumb to societal pressures if you're not ready for change.


Do you have a New Year's resolution you're serious about? HERE are four signs you might actually stick to it!