Opinion: New Year’s Resolutions meant to foster growth, not punish the self

Shravani Page | Staff Writer

 It’s a new year, which means New Year’s Resolutions are always bound to be made. 

I have made countless resolutions over the past few years, from endeavoring to change my body to look more “healthy” to always being there for my friends. 

And although both those sound like pretty reasonable goals, they were goals I either didn’t accomplish or took way too far. 

Throughout my life, I always chose other people. I was kind, polite, and gentle with everyone I knew. They always came before me. I felt like I lived my life for someone else; as if my worth came from how much I could/couldn’t disappoint them. 

It was hard for me to feel thankful when someone would be proud of me. The thought in the back of my head would always consider how I might disappoint them in the future. The fear of disappointment ruled me. 

My resolutions had always failed for a reason I never realized till now. My resolutions were made for others, not me. My goals were made so I wouldn’t be a disappointment to other people. My mindset was skewed and extreme because I didn’t allow myself to have grace. 

And I didn’t give myself grace because I was chasing behind others for validation. 

I wish I could say that I wanted to change my body because it was a personal goal or because I thought it may help create more balance in my life. But I wanted to change out of pity for myself and insecurity. I didn’t think I was enough. I would look at my friends and become ridden with thoughts wishing I looked like them. 

My friends are some of the most important people in the world to me- that’s a given.

But once I became trapped in that mindset of insecurity, I stopped being there. Suddenly all that mattered was not disappointing an arbitrary group of strangers. 

I lost a lot of connections last year. And I know we were in a pandemic, but I didn’t even feel like calling or even Snapchatting anyone back. 

And it took me a while to get back up on my feet. It took dependency, a loss of control, and clashes between two very different mindsets. But once I did, I felt capable. 

I was finally capable.

For the first time, I got myself together. And I didn’t do it to change my body, but because of those close to me. I chose to get better, but this time, it was not for anybody else. 

I chose to get better for myself. 

I chose to get better so I could live a long, happy life where I could be strong enough to give back to this world. 

Creating a New Year’s resolution doesn’t have to be some big, grand, gesture. It’s up to you. But the key to a good resolution is creating a resolution out of love for yourself and by depending on those who depend on you. 

So this year, create your goal, write it down, and be sure to give yourself room and grace as you watch yourself grow.