Every year around this time, the same question pops up. What are your New Year’s resolutions? What are you going to do better next year? Usually, my answer is a simple “I don’t know”. When the holidays come around, I like to catch my breath from the busyness of uni and work and avoid pressuring myself into committing to even more responsibilities. But this year was different. Maybe it’s the steady advent of my graduation, making me realize that life is going to get very real very soon. Maybe it’s the fact that the health and fitness trend is at an all-time high this year. Or maybe I’m just afraid to have no answer when the dreaded question comes. Whatever the reason, there is something inside of me screaming that I should eat healthier, exercise more, grow my network, plan my future, care more about others and socialize more, starting from the first of January, 2017.
Why do we do this? Why do we create this artificial turning point to better our lives, knowing full well that most of our new ambitions won’t make it through the everyday hassles of January? The answer is simple: we all want to be better versions of ourselves, but creating new habits (or getting rid of old ones) is hard and scary. Telling ourselves that we can relax until the new year and start with new energy somehow makes it seem more doable. Maybe it actually does get more doable, for some people. And that’s great.
The bigger question is why it is so perfectly normal to ask anyone and everyone about their New Year’s resolutions. “What are you going to do better next year?” As if it is wrong to be content with who we are now and what we did this year. As if whatever we were doing in December won’t cut it in January. Many of us want to do things differently, change in little ways. But do we really need to be reminded of that by neighbours, distant family members or that chatty lady in the train? Not to mention the countless businesses that are eager to capitalize on our sudden urge to fix our imperfections? I think not. There is nothing wrong with challenging ourselves and those close to us, but we should think twice before asking distant acquaintances or even strangers about their plans to better themselves in the new year. Not everyone wants or needs to change, and it’s okay.
So yes, I might eat healthier from January onwards and exercise more and do all those other things on my list. Or I might decide as the new year progresses that other things are more important. Maybe I will start working on my resolutions in February, if I feel especially rebellious. But one thing I know for sure: when the new year comes, I will not ask people for their own New Year’s resolutions. Let them decide if they need them. That, I think, will make for a happy, healthy and productive 2017.
From all of us at IBCoMagazine, whether you have your New Year’s resolutions ready or prefer to go without, the best wishes for the new year. Let’s make it a great one!