As the first week of 2013 comes and goes in the blink of an eye, resolutioners of the new year stand in one of two places: either you’ve taken immediate action the second that crystal ball lit up Times Square, or you’re busy premeditating excuses and new ways to procrastinate fulfilling the task you threw upon your own shoulders this January. Whether you’ve committed to hit the gym every day, choose a salad over that juicy burger, or cut back on your monthly (or weekly) shopping sprees, every one of us is struggling not only to begin, but to continue these new habits we hope to form for ourselves. But is the thought of your resolution causing you more pain than gain?
It’s no secret that stress compromises your body’s physical and mental health. Prolonged, it can lead to chronic headaches, high blood pressure, and a weakened immune system. As your list of commitments piles up on top of you, the pressure you may be feeling to stick to it proves counterproductive when it comes to really accomplishing anything. Why do we put so much emphasis on carrying out our resolutions? Perhaps it’s the sense of competition as the rest of the world declares to do the same. Or rather it’s our imminent feeling of failure if we don’t follow through. Regardless, we have lost sight of what effect creating these ambitions is supposed to have on us.
Here’s my theory on resolutions — they’re useless. They serve us no purpose, and more often than not, cause more damage to our self-esteem than repair. What we should be doing as we kick off another year is creating goals. Let’s analyze that a little more, shall we?
The denotation of a resolution is “the mental state or quality of being resolved or resolute.” Taking it a step further, to be “resolved” is to “come to a definite decision about.” Bear that in mind, let’s consider the denotation of a goal, or “the result or achievement toward which effort is directed.” Now here’s the difference — creating a resolution binds you in shackles to some certain weight number, or a specific savings target, etc. As nice as the determination for these things and your specific resolution sounds, it also puts a great burden on your shoulders, dooming you to tension and frustration when remaining unfulfilled.
On the other hand, creating a goal provides you some wiggle room to squeeze in some confidence. We often pair a plan of action with our resolution, and if we find ourselves faltering in that plan, we then tell ourselves that we have faltered on our resolution. Goals, however, can be reached a number of different ways. Wavering and adjusting the path you choose to take to achievement is OK, in fact, encouraged! Eating that slice of chocolate cake, skipping your 7 o’clock class at the gym, or splurging on a new outfit once in a while is not going to offset your ultimate drive. Changing your aims and the angles you approach them at does not discredit all the effort and progress you have already made.
In 2013, don’t restrict yourself to the ball and chain method for your dreams. Adjust, remodel, transform, vary, cheat (within reason). Change the way you view your resolutions and goals this year, no matter what you choose to call them. Feel your confidence multiply as you break the chains and reach your objective on your own terms. And remember it is never too early or too late to start being who you want to be or start doing what you want to do.
Kendyll is a bubbly seventeen year old who has a passion for written expression. Amidst her addiction to Starbucks, alongside a slight obsession with Kate Hudson, she dreams of the Big Apple and of making an impact on the world. Suggestions or ideas on what you'd like to see her write about next? Leave a comment below, or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org !
Kendyll McFarland has 9 post(s) on Love Twenty