The new year does not limit our goals

Megan Lee | The Chronicle

Our year should not be defined by a single decision made on January 1st. 

The meaning of a new year means something different to each person. We spend our holiday days off meticulously formulating a set of steps to make our lives more enjoyable, meaningful or even effortless. Behind each objective is the one main goal which you wish to achieve during the next 12 months – a new year’s resolution. 

The truth is, we spend the whole year pretending that our one resolution will fix everything in its path, that as long as we achieve that one distinct goal, we have succeeded. However, each time, we give in to this ideal and normalize not making our difficult decisions sooner. You are not confined to the new year to make a real choice for yourself. 

We as a society strive to input our views and choices into one another’s decisions. But yet we frown upon those who do choose to move on, take a leap and choose to make an aspect of their own life better. I am guilty of it, to look for approval in a choice that is solely my own. Why now on this one day a year is it normalized to actually care about how someone is choosing to improve their own life? Why is it expected of us?

We have grown up seeing others in our lives obsessed with the idea that it is only now that this change will matter, giving us a clean slate to start the same cycle over again. Instead, we are hit with the realization year after year that no matter how much we wish we could change it, our hardships are still with us. The betrayal and heartache, even the strength and positivity are not wiped away.  

We treat each new year as a milestone in a world of change. Yet each year, we stay the same. Resolutions go unfulfilled, we preserve ourselves to change whatever it is that they feel is “wrong.” We haven’t normalized the feeling of failure enough to allow ourselves to accept that fact. 

One single resolution does not define our success over the course of a year. 

You do not need to wait until December 30th to decide you need a change in your life. If you want to spend more time with your family, do it. If you want to quit or start something new, do it. If you want to spend more time with your loved ones, do it. You are capable of making resolutions whether it’s one New Year’s Eve or in the middle of July. 

Choosing a new path for yourself isn’t supposed to make you feel guilty. Take pride in the fact that you were capable and ready to choose something for yourself. We make the mistake of pressuring ourselves to follow the mold, especially during our years in high school. 

I do think that a new years resolution can be effective, but accepting that these resolutions can be made at any point within the year will help us more than we know.