New Year, Same Me

Now that it's 2018, lots of people around us are making New Year's resolutions and saying "new year, new me." While it's great that people are setting goals to improve their health and other aspects of their lives, I personally believe it's foolish to adopt the mentality to be a "new" person (even though I LOVE the lyric "the old Taylor can't come to the phone right now" in Look What You Made Me Do.)

"Cuz she's dead."
The old Taylor is NOT dead but in the hearts and memories of Swifties <3. And still on Vevo?

My problem with attempting to transform your identity [or an aspect of it] within a year is that it can be completely arbitrary. If changing ourselves wasn't hard enough, oftentimes we don't even stick to our resolutions because we revert to our habits of skipping a day at the gym or eating junk food. So how should we set our goals? For example, I recently set a list of 30 goals to aim for in the next 3 years (before I turn 30), but isn't that 3 year deadline arbitrary as well?

First, people need to stop saying "new me." We can strive to be better versions of ourselves, and sometimes that comes with gradual change that could happen in the next year or take even longer. Personally, meaningful change is accumulated over time. I couldn't have become a lawyer in a year- it was the process of starting mock trial in high school, getting my Bachelors + JD, and studying for the bar that all have led me to my current position as an attorney for the state.

Having true motivation towards a concrete reward also makes it easier to accomplish difficult goals. Based on my objective observations of friends, fitting in a wedding dress is definitely a good reason to exercise to lose weight. Registering for a marathon motivated me to build up my cardio routine. My motivation for studying for the bar was my Bar trip in Asia.

That being said, I think that increasing the number of a year by one isn't enough motivation for people to change. As Rachel Bloom said, "Just be yourself." As I enter 2018, I'll be the same person, but working towards improving myself so that I'm able to contribute to society the best way that I can.


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