New year, new me?

You don’t need a new year to work on self-improvement


Every year, millions of people worldwide look to the new year as a sign that they must learn and grow from the mistakes they made previously. A New Year’s resolution seems to be the perfect fix. However, rarely does a New Year’s resolution succeed. According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, a mere eight percent of people feel successful in completing their New Year’s resolutions by the end of the year, which means that over half of those who set New Year’s resolutions do not achieve them. Several factors can cause this, but lack of motivation is the most commonly cited. New Year’s resolutions are essential to keep habits in check, and you should implement them carefully to not feel burnt out. 

With a new year comes a nagging sense of urgency. As humans, our desire for perfection is innate. What people neglect to realize is that self-improvement is a gradual process. It is a frustrating truth to accept, but to achieve a goal, continuous effort needs to be put forth.  According to Forbes, nearly eighty percent of people abandon their New Year’s resolutions by February. It is a process that seems to unintentionally promote failure, which is why many people don’t even bother with making a goal in the first place. 

It is not just the idea of making a goal and acknowledging areas of improvement, but the mindset of self-improvement that is important. We don’t need to criticize ourselves for our inaction in the past year but focus on what we did well and what we seek to improve. Instead of thinking that we cannot do something and making false promises to ourselves, we should look at how we could actually improve our lives and practice gratitude for our opportunities and strengths. The process of bettering ourselves is vital to our quality of life, but we should not make it a race for who can live a perfect existence. This is the unspoken truth of New Year’s resolutions, that we overexert ourselves to reach happiness instead of monitoring our goals more carefully over an extended period of time. 

Whether you have a New Year’s resolution this year or not, focus on trying your best at what matters to you, and not attempting to fix everything may have not gone to plan in the previous year.