The Hard Truth About New Year's Resolutions

We've all been there.

We've sat around with our group of friends, days before Dec. 31, grimacing over the mistakes we made during the current year and swearing to do things differently as soon as Jan. 1 comes around.

Whether it's promising to hit the gym three to five days a week, cutting out sugar, ending things with our ex once and for all, or taking on a new sport or hobby, we often commit to huge new year's resolutions we may not really be ready to handle.

Girl upset in locker room

(via Shutterstock)

The problem with making these easily breakable promises is we don'really think them through. We agree to them on a whim because the new year sounds like the perfect time to make changes. But often, we don't think about potential roadblocks we'll face while trying to reach our goals. We don't think about upcoming temptations or how we'll react if something gets in the way.

Committing to any major life change (be it a new year's resolution or otherwise) requires much more thinking ahead than a week. So many people start out strong, but then give up quickly because their head isn't fully in it.

Whenever I feel like I'm ready for a life change, I usually give myself a full month prior to process how things will be different. I think about how this life change will affect my relationships, my free time, my ability to have fun, and ultimately just how much I'll need to sacrifice to make the adjustment.

Teen girl sitting in a field thinking

(via Unsplash)

I recently wrote about tiny life changes to make if you can't commit to an actual new year's resolution. There's this pressure each year to make some totally drastic life adjustment—and quite frankly, if you're not ready, you shouldn't even attempt it. I do think you should always be moving forward and bettering yourself in any way you can, but there are certain things in life that take much more than the ball dropping to really gain our focus.

Earlier this year, I completed the Whole 30 challenge. A month before kicking off the incredibly demanding food program, I mentally prepped myself hardcore. I researched the program at length, thoroughly acknowledged the sacrifices I'd be making, and thought about what I truly wanted to get out of its completion. Giving myself those several weeks to really accept the changes I'd be undergoing made it that much easier when the time came to drop some of my old habits.


(via Unsplash)

Now, moving forward four months after my 30-day challenge, I feel like even though I'm nowhere near as strict as I was during the program, I'm certainly in a better place than I was before I began. Therefore, as Jan. 1 rolls around, I'm in the right zone to really say, okay, 2019 is the year I'm going to eat really healthy. And the hope is that my consistently healthy eating habits will coincide with a fitness regimen (something that I've been lacking).

There are certainly other things I want to work on as well, but I guess you could say that I'm not putting any official new year's resolutions on the table this year. I don't want to set myself up for failure. I simply want to keep bettering myself and take things day by day. Resolutions are difficult, and if you aren't ready to make a change, hold off and start something later in the year. Chances are, you'll feel much more balanced starting something on your own, as opposed to the crash and burn that people experience trying to reach goals all together at the very beginning of the year.


Is your time off from school everything it's cracked up to be? Click HERE for winter break: expectations vs. reality.