Having New Year’s resolutions has become an annual tradition where we jot down what we hope to achieve for the year, but oftentimes we find ourselves not seeing through the end of the list or stopping midway through the majority of what we listed down.
There are questions begging to be asked. Is it because we’re too excited for the validation we’d get after checking it off our list? Or is it because we’ve been stuck thinking that we need to achieve something to be someone?
It’s okay to have goals or aim for achievements — either with life in general or just for the entire year. You can have aims set for yourself or what you want to fulfill with the people you love. Most importantly, you can have big goals by taking note of little goals through taking baby steps like finishing reading a book, starting a journal, or drinking more water. After all, what are humans if not for striving for purpose or a sense of being?
But when things get rough and you feel as if you are walking on an unpaved path and you can’t see where you’re going anymore, take a pause. When the well-known adage says life isn’t a race — believe it. So, give time in striving for that peace of mind, even if it means taking a break from the hustle and bustle of reality.
It’s okay to set your own pace and watch at the end of the year how far you’ve become.
I saw someone say that they treat New Year’s resolutions like a year-end review where she would look at what’s gone well and what hasn’t. Instead of focusing solely on what she hasn’t achieved the entire year, she looks at the gaps and asks where she should focus on for the following year. I think approaching it this way is a breath of fresh air where the pressure isn’t on doing solely “great things” that would give us self-gratification.
Perhaps we can also approach the entire year that’s passed like a year-end review where we’d ask ourselves what we’ve learned and unlearned, what we achieved, and what we couldn’t. By doing it this way, we could also focus on the gaps on where we should focus our time, attention, and energy. But more than that, we could celebrate our progress and small victories — no matter how trivial they may seem.
Needless to say, it’s okay to have New Year’s resolutions — but it’s okay not to have them either. Even though these resolutions may be harmless, in the long run, they can be destructive to your mental wellbeing. You don’t need to push yourself past your limits for the sake of productivity. You’ve fought tons of silent battles the entire year, and getting through these is already an achievement on its own.
Be kinder to yourself, you’ve done well.