New gym memberships and gym usage in general tends to peak in January every year, and this is no coincidence. The most common New Year’s resolutions in 2018 were eating healthier, working out more and spending less money, according to YouGov, and past polls indicate that it’s been a common New Year’s resolution for, well, years. Despite many people aiming to hit the gym more often and eat healthier, the use of gyms steadily declines through the year compared to in January. In 2015, U.S. News reported that 80 percent of New Years’ resolutions fall through by February.
Most of these statistics also include why people do not follow through with these resolutions — lack of commitment, loss of interest and loss of motivation are some of the most prevalent reasons. But if you’re not interested, not committed, not motivated, is it really the you that you want to be? And if you do not make the changes that you wanted, then is it really a new you, or is it another year of being the same you?
The idea of a new year bringing about a “new you” is enticing. It gives us the ability to take every one of our flaws and make a goal of it. Achieve this by the end of the year, accomplish this, fix this — and typically we fall through. I’ll admit that I had “go to the gym” and “practice self-care more often” on my New Year’s resolution list. Every New Year, the idea of “new year, new me” comes back around, and to that I say: Prove it.
One of my biggest New Year’s resolutions going into 2018 was to take more time for myself and, I can assure you all, I absolutely did not. I worked and worked, so much that I wrote a column on burnout earlier this semester. While I am proud of everything I did this semester, I cannot say I slowed down at all. If anything, that all proves I wasn’t as committed as I should have been to my original resolution.
As with all big decisions, in order to be effective, I should have been more dedicated to this resolution and proven to myself that these are the changes I really want and am willing to persevere through.
As 2018 comes to a close, I can see all of the things I want to change for next year. I want to take things slower, take more time for myself. I want to try new things and meet new people, and stay organized in order to make time for the new things I want to do. And in 2019, I also want to stay dedicated to those changes. I am going to prove to myself that I am committed. If I cannot prove my own commitment and desire to these changes, then are they truly the changes I want to make?
The “new year, new me” mentality is often why we set resolutions for ourselves. We want to take the change in the year as a chance to make changes in ourselves, so we list things we want to do differently, ways we want to change, and try to enact them. To all of that, I say prove that these are changes you really want. Self-improvement doesn’t come from a single day or a single decision — it takes months of deliberate introspection, mindfulness and dedication to turn a single desired change into habit, and if I want my resolutions to last past January, I know now that I need to maintain my commitment, interest and motivation. Therefore, just saying that this New Year will bring about a new me is deeply flawed. It misses the immense amount of work and self-awareness that self-improvement really needs, so I say we need to prove it.
In order to have a resolution truly stick, show yourself that you can work on becoming a better you. If you want to be more fit, then schedule time to work out regularly. If you want to eat healthier, then plan for better meals, and don’t let yourself be tempted by those awesome brownies at Safeway. If you want to practice self-care more, then actively think about it.
One of my resolutions from January 2018 is currently being addressed. I desperately wanted to be more organized, so I went out and got a journal, and now I write daily to-do lists and plot out the events I have in a day. Writing things down and organizing how my day will go worked out incredibly well for me, and now I make time every week to plan the next week’s schedule. I also check my journal every day for what I might be doing, what’s due, what I forgot. I proved to myself that I wanted a more organized me, and this year has brought me to a new level of organization.
You cannot just change yourself by telling yourself “new year, new me.” You have to build that new you and prove you’re capable of maintaining the new you. Only through perseverance will the new year bring a new you.
Contact Sakura Cannestra at [email protected] .