Does a new year mean a new you?


It’s a new year! It’s a cause of celebration for most—a time when old grievances can be forgotten and we can all move forward into the future. This could be the year when some of our dreams come true, but not without a little luck and a lot of hard work first. Speaking of hard work, how are your resolutions coming along, if you made any? We all undoubtedly have things that we’d like to change for the better about ourselves, but it’s never quite that easy, is it? Committing to eating better, exercising regularly… Resolutions are hard to keep in our already busy day, especially during the long, cold season of winter. Laziness and procrastination are easy to give into when the temperature plummets… I’ve been guilty of forgoing going for a run lately due to a crippling case of idleness, and it’s self-deprecating.

Getting out of the lazy funk is no simple feat and honestly, there’s no simple answer. Everyone is different—our experiences are different, our motivations are different, our 2014s were entirely different. Yet, as cheesy as it sounds, 2015 is a new year. A fresh start, as it were. Your past mistakes and regrets are just that, in the past. Make 2015 a year with as few regrets as you can personally manage. Live your life with an open mind, with set goals, and a hopeful attitude… Embrace your passions and let them be your guide into a better future. Find something that motivates you in a positive way to be happier or to work harder, and use it to move step by step in the direction of your goals.

Write your goals down on a calendar, on your phone… Somewhere where you’ll be forced to see them until they are achieved. You’ll only be cheating yourself if you don’t meet them to some degree. Are you really looking forward to a show on TV tonight? Commit yourself to going for a walk before it airs… Around the block is good enough this time of year! Then tomorrow, make your walk a little longer—walk around the block twice, and so on. It’s the small steps towards betterment that are often the most effective in the end. Just getting up and improving yourself in some way is proof that you are stronger than you realize.

You don’t have to overhaul your entire life… It might be a new year, but that doesn’t necessarily mean a totally new you. A slightly improved, marginally wiser version of the old you will do just fine, as long as you choose to improve and put in the time to see it through. It’s not going to be easy, but nothing in life is. If you want something, you have to put in the time and effort to achieve it yourself. I think I’ll go out for that run now… or maybe just a walk. 2015 will be what you make of it—make it a step in the right direction.

2015 is Just a Number


I had 2014 all planned out for my personal happiness, motivation, and memories:

Last New Year’s Day, I made three resolutions.

1. Find a class at the RAWC; go weekly.

2. Get my G license.

3. If you make a choice, follow through.

Last New Year’s Day, I developed a bunch of pictures of me and my friends and stuck those by my bedroom door. I typed out short motivational quotes and stuck them by my door, too.

“Movies and books—feels lie HERE.”

“Looking good leads to feeling good.”

“Do your thing.”

Last New Year’s Day, I made a moment box out of a shoebox, where I intended to write down memorable moments on scraps of paper and read them at the end of the year.

I begin 2015 with none of the same sentimentality. Everything I planned to do to track 2014 went down the drain somewhere in May. I stopped going to the gym, I never got my G license, and I didn’t keep track of following through with choices I made. I tore the motivational quotes and the pictures of my friends down and stuffed them in a drawer. Moments in the moment box came to a halt (although the first half of the year was a fun read—moment box is definitely worth a try!). None of these habits made me as happy or as motivated as I thought they would.

Although it was nice of me to set my year up for happiness, I was doing it wrong. I realized if I was going to set a goal or change my habits, why wait for a new year? Why did I wait until January 1st, 2014 to set all of those tasks in motion?

Regardless, the resolutions, the quotes, and the moment box didn’t increase my happiness. In fact, I generally felt sad for months last year.

I don’t want to count my life in calendar years any more. If I think about making a change and I think that change will be good for me, I resolve to try it out today. If that change doesn’t work, I’ll revise and make another change. I won’t wait for 2016 to go to the gym or to get my license. Today is just another day, and this year is just another year.

If you’re going to make a change or a resolution, why wait? 2015 is just a number. Try new things regularly. Make small changes to your habits and see how they affect your happiness and motivation.

Resolve to be a better you today!

Have any new resolutions today? Let me know; comment below!