Off on the right foot

You broke your New Year’s Resolution and

January isn’t even over yet - now what? 
A New Year’s resolution really is a funny thing if you think about it.

There is something refreshing and hopeful in the idea that making a list of things we want to accomplish will significantly affect our lives in the New Year. 

I  think the problem with the mentality of making a list to improve ourselves or our situation is that we are more committed to the promise of the resolution itself than actually taking the necessary steps to attain our goal. 

I’m not saying this applies to everyone, because there are some people out there who are absolutely amazing at mapping out just how to do better this semester, or how to spend less money on unnecessary things.  

I am not one of these people. I tend to be a dreamer—and I’m not the only one, cheesy reference intended. I’m one who puts more effort into envisioning my goal than actually figuring out a strategy to follow through with it. 

Then life hits and all of a sudden that saying “old habits die hard” makes a lot of sense. 

But, here’s the thing: change and progress is not about never making a mistake or two, or three. Those are precisely the things that teach you what not to do. 

Mistakes and falling off the wagon are incredibly helpful because they provide you more insight into how you should approach whatever it is you want to change about yourself than a simple wish list every could. 

I was frustrated with myself when, just shy of a month into 2014, I was already setting off on the wrong foot in regard to school and the other responsibilities in my life. 

Being someone who works 20 hours a week, holds three positions in her sorority, and is an editor for the school paper, my ultimate goal for this semester was to balance better. 

I’m not just talking about my abundance of responsibilities either, but also with my relationships and hobbies. 

Let me tell you, it’s hard. I already slipped up a little in each of the various areas of my life. So, technically I failed my resolution. I don’t like to think of it that way though. If anything, I want to stress the importance of realizing that all any of us are ever going to be is a work in progress. There’s no such thing as “New Year, New Me,” contrary to Instagram and Facebook statuses. 

We are all struggling with the same thing we struggled with a month ago in December, and perhaps it will be the same another month from now. 

Ultimately, New Year’s resolutions are bogus. Not that wanting to strive for a positive change in your life is bogus, but putting pressure on yourself to live up to a wishlist and expecting yourself to be a whole new person kind of is. 

One of my favorite quotes pretty much sums up what I’m trying to say: “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail Better.”

So don’t be down on yourself if 2014 doesn’t live up to that mental check list of yours. Sure, keep striving, but mostly just fail better.