What are the Merits of Not Being Cynical About New Years Resolutions?

We constantly make resolutions, and we constantly become more and more cynical. We constantly have the urge to better ourselves when the artificial construct of a ‘new year’ awakens us from the sleep of our holiday-ridden, mundane daily lives. We post jokes on social media about the lunacy and ridiculousness of New Years resolutions – we laugh at people who make them and this is just one of the many examples of the increase of cynicism and sarcasm and guarding ourselves from our feelings that exists in 21st century society.

But, something can be said about the ‘right time’ to be ambitious. What is the “right time”? It is a time when we feel desolate enough to make changes. A time when marketing, and the influence of others, makes a difference. A time when we feel like we CAN do what we hope to accomplish. There’s no shame in wanting more for ourselves. And furthermore, there’s no shame in wanting this immediately right after a groggy, sluggish, indulgent time like Christmas.

2015 was one of my darkest times in recent memory. Not since 2008 (which I have not-so-affectionately dubbed ‘200HATE’) have I had a year so hard, so full of tears, so full of transition, and so full of hardships as this past year. Everything hit me at once; a focus on a career, a focus on continuing to build on an amazing but still long distance relationship, moving provinces, losing friends (both ACTUALLY losing friends, and also leaving them in other places), and feeling like I’m drowning almost every single day. My work-life balance is shot. I’m only JUST beginning to feel refreshed and strong in my day-to-day work life. It’s been a sea of hardships that I’ve had a difficult time coping with.

But six days ago, I woke up and it was 2016. Before I left my holiday behind, I cried and cried for a couple of hours before I peeled the band-aid off and went back home. Before that happened, I heard something really important from the right person to listen to: “Let it go.”  

I haven’t yet. But I will. I will, because it’s what I can and will do to overcome how much stress and uncertainty I’ve faced in the last eight months. And the first step of doing that is to focus on factors in my life that I can control, and take charge of.

Sure, New Years resolutions are corny and of course there’s nothing actually meaningful about a new year. But sometimes, symbolic significance turns into legitimate significance when the time is right.

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