With a new year comes a series of promises and resolutions disguised as “new”, which are, in fact, the same old overused clichés that we never seem to follow.
At the end of every year, emotional messages are sent out, bad habits are let go of, reunions are organised, and apologies are made, along with the promises of a fresh start. But there’s something about the first week of January that makes all of us go back to our old selves. We turn back to the same old things we wanted to run away from in the hopes that the new year would bring a sense of closure. Who knew “starting afresh” came with an expiration date? The closure that every new year brings is only an illusion that comes with the ghost of a happy feeling; we smile and laugh as we adjust to our new routine, until we get tired and fall back into the accustomed pattern that we have been unable to escape from.
So what’s the point of celebrating something that’s so short lived? Do we seek satisfaction in finding temporary closure through the same old clichés? We make our resolutions based on our insecurities that surface the year before, in the hopes that we will overcome them in the coming one. But the end of a year isn’t going to stop bad things from happening to us – there will still be problems and situations and stress we don’t want to deal with. And we will learn, cope, and overcome as we go, because that’s how life works – not because you made a list when you were half drunk on the last night of the year.
We make a list of things that we think lead us to the “right” way to live life, but we forget to add the things that actually make us happy. The pressure of “new year, new me” forces us to set a time limit to improving ourselves, but being a better version of yourself doesn’t come with a change in the date. A minor change in the calendar doesn’t mean you have to leave everything behind, uproot your existing life, and become a “new” person. What matters is if you’re a better person. I believe in celebrating my growth at the end of the year. Was I kind to my loved ones? Did I push myself to my best? Am I proud of my achievements? These are some of the questions I ask myself, looking back at where I was a year ago. Our list of resolutions for the new year should only have one: do everything that will make you proud of yourself at the end of the year, and then do it again.