I love New Year's resolutions. alternatively titled: we all need to be a little more positive

It's that time of year again.  The time of year when people say:

"The New Year isn't a fresh start, it's just another day."

"Time is an allusion."

"New Year resolutions are bound to fail."

"Only 8% of people achieve their resolutions." (Which I'm not sure how they measure; I saw another source citing that 39% of people succeed.)

"Your personality won't change just because the date did."

When did we all become so jaded?

What's so wrong with wanting a better life?  To improve yourself?  Why is self-improvement accepted any other day of the year, but is suddenly uncool on January 1st?

I'm in love with New Year resolutions.  I love the hope it gives people.  Next year really can be different!  It might not be, but it could be!  That's beautiful, isn't it?  After a year that feels so dark, it's nice to have something to look forward.

I quit doing the typical New Year resolutions when I turned 18.  I would lose the list, or never write it down, or turn the page in my journal and never look back. They were usually resolutions I had no intention of keeping.

For those types of goals, the quantifiable ones, I put on my "20 Under 20" list (which I mostly completed), and my currently on-going "25 Under 25" list.  Now my resolutions are more like a big to-do list that I have five years to complete AND I can alter it if some of the goals just aren't applicable or realistic to my life.  This is a good system for me.

But back to New Year's resolutions.

For resolutions, I do what all the experts on the internet tell you not to do.

I make big, lofty, unquantifiable goals. 

I pick some big, touchy-feely goal and write it in the beginning of my journal, and in the front of my agenda, and everywhere else.

For 2016, my goal was "to be more honest".  I didn't define what that meant in January 2016, but left it up for future-me to decide how to live my most honest life in any given moment.

In 2016, being honest meant:
  • Not holding back in my journal.  I needed to be honest with myself and write down those hard words.
  • Telling friends that they weren't treating me well, that they took advantage of my loyalty, and losing them in the process.
  • Telling my dad that I don't want to be a doctor and haven't wanted to be one for awhile.
  • Becoming an English major, in addition to my Neuroscience.
  • Dramatically admitting a secret to 100 of my closest friends, my sorority sisters.
  • Unapologetically letting my ultra-conservative family know that #ImWithHer.
  • Making sure everyone knows that #ImStillWithHer.
  • I started this blog.  Every single word you read on here is therapeutic for me, an exercise in honesty.
  • These are big steps for me.  And even though many of them were scary, I feel better.  I feel closer to myself.

My grandiose goal for 2017 is to say 'yes'. 

In the fashion of Shonda Rhimes of course, with her famous Year of Yes book.  I'm going abroad long-term for the first time.  If I'm not careful, I will let the anxiety get the best of me.  I'll miss out on opportunities, because I tend to shut down in new situations.  Newsflash to myself: everything will be new.  I'll be living in a city for the first time ever.  Being in a city long-term will probably be a bigger culture shock than being in a new country.

I can't afford to say no.  I can't shutdown.  If I say no, (we're excluding the dangerous, creepy men situations here. Those no's are a given), then I'll miss out on experiences.

So here's to resolutions.  Here's to not letting people on the internet make you feel bad about making resolutions.  Here's to positivity and being honest and saying yes. 

Happy New Year, everyone.  Let's make it a good one.

Are you making resolutions? Care to share?

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