Photo by Tatiana Butts
It’s the new year. A new year a new you at least that’s what you keep telling yourself before you eat that bag of Hershey kisses you stuffed under your bed that you swore you wouldn’t eat. Look, it’s fine if you fall off the bandwagon occasionally when it comes to your new year’s resolutions. What’s important is three things: one, that you tried to get on it at all, two, your intentions for trying to get on, and three, what you do when you fall off.
1) Getting on the wagon.
It’s already mid-January and, if you’re like me, you are probably making your list now rather than back in December. That’s not a problem! Remember, it’s a new year new you this year, not last year. Last year you didn’t know what you really wanted. But now you’re thinking about what’s next. Anyway, you’re thinking about what’s going to go on your list. So go through a few drafts, shall we?
List number one: work out five times a week, eat healthy, stop procrastinating, no more nail biting, and…
Come on let’s get real here. You’re not going to do one if any of those things even with the most noble of intentions (unless you are superwoman/superman in which case people tell me where I can sign up to learn how to be awesome like you).
List number two: Try to work out and eat better but don’t beat myself up about it if I don’t because life gets crazy sometimes and mental health is just as important as physical health. Work on time management skills and planning rather than driving myself crazy about how I can’t get anything done on time. Try and figure out why I’m biting my nails. Is it because I’m just too lazy to cut them or is there another reason?
2) Dragging yourself back onto that freaking awesome (mostly stupid) wagon
Even with a more realistic list, you’re still going to slip up. Trust me (unless again you have some kind of kickbutt super powers) it’s going to happen. We’re all human and while we might have unrealistic expectations a lot of the time we also know that we aren’t superhuman even if we pretend to be. This is why it’s so important to get back on the wagon. To pull your new year's resolution list back out and try again. No, it doesn’t have to be a physical list. It can just be one in your head, and honestly, you don’t even have to make this list at the beginning of the year. Your list can be made at anytime you want to during the year because remember it’s just as important that you get on the wagon at all.
3) Bonus tip (bet you didn’t see that coming)
Don’t make your new year’s list, or your list period, be about making yourself a more perfect version of who you are now. While I do think we can all be better, kinder, more thoughtful and generous versions of ourselves, trying to be a perfect version of that is just going to drive you crazy and cause you to fall off the wagon. If you do this, you’re not going to want to get back on the wagon when you fall off. Remember that you don’t have to be perfect. You’re perfect in all your imperfection, chocolate addiction and all.
Lastly, if you do decide to do this. If you manage to keep at it, even when you continuously fail and fall down, remember this (and it’s helped me in the past to stick with a goal) don’t try, just do it. Don’t try to be better version of you, rather, just be that person. Last year, I had the goal to not drink as many soft drinks, so I just stopped drinking them. I didn’t try to stop. I just did. I know this doesn’t work all the time, and it doesn’t work for everyone, but I got tired of saying I was trying, so I just did it. Sometimes it is easier to take a running jump at the wagon rather than dragging yourself back onto it.