Let’s talk New Year’s resolutions and change

Believe it or not, January is long over. Didn’t it feel like three months wrapped into one? Think about where you were Jan. 1 and everything you have done since then. Mind blowing, right? But hey, it gave us more time to settle into our New Year’s resolutions and to make whatever changes we promised for 2020. Or, you completely failed and now it’s the start of a new month so you can try again, or ditch the resolution, or make a new one. Or, if you’re like me, you didn’t even make one to begin with.

For me personally, I don’t usually make a standard “New Year’s resolution,” but when someone asks me what mine is (which is inevitable), I just say a change I would like to make in myself or my life in general. It’s not because it’s the beginning of a new year, but because it’s something I want to be working on to better myself, my life, or those around me. Whether it’s a resolution I made three years ago or I made it yesterday, I always just respond with what I’m currently working on or a change I’m adjusting to. But I never raise my champagne glass and say, “this year I vow to ___.” I’m constantly reevaluating and remodeling throughout the 365 days.

I get it. New year, new me. But do we really need to wait for a new year to improve ourselves or to set a long-term goal? I think instead of this whole “resolution” thing being an annual event, it should be every month or so, or whenever you please. Do you want to look like J-Lo when you’re 50? Don’t wait until Jan. 1 to get a gym membership. Go tomorrow! Or March 3! Or July 28! Who cares! Any time that we want to make a change in our life, we should just do it.

The start of a new year does make for a good baseline, though and it may be easier for some people to hold themselves accountable. At the start of the new year, you’re bombarded with new year, new me shoved in your face and the media caters to it. Since you can’t escape it, it’s a constant reminder of the personal resolution you made and that you should be sticking to it. But if that’s the case, then it should just be one of your many days making resolutions. We should continuously be working on bettering ourselves, trying new things, and setting goals to strive for and achieve, not just when you’re popping champagne with cool sparkly glasses on.

Change is uncomfortable, and for the most part, hard to maintain. Maybe that’s why we put off making a drastic change until the next year so we can avoid it a little longer. But a year is a really long time, and to tell yourself you’re going to stick to something for a year or more isn’t always realistic. We should be continuing to make resolutions because of this. Set a goal for a week, a month, four months. Write down a start and finish date. Or try until you fail. But if you can’t make it the entire year, that’s okay. If you put your best effort into making a change in your life, pat yourself on the back. Or if you even just got as far as making a list of ways to better yourself, good for you. Change is scary, but we are more than capable. The timing is up to you.

Meghan Morrison is a senior majoring in public relations.