Hannah Chima evaluates the benefits and drawbacks of the new year new me mentality
“New Year, new me”. “This is going to be my year”. “This year will be different”. Everyone’s said it. Maybe it’s to go to the gym 3 times a week, or learn that language you’ve been meaning to for years. Not many people think they’re perfect, so there’s always something that we want to change about ourselves. But why do people all of a sudden think that January the 1st is the time to change?
Isn’t it just another day of the year? Okay, the Earth has completed another orbit, and Julius Caesar decided January would be the start of the new year, but does it mean much except that we get to start a new diary? Besides from that, there is little change, we are still the same people with the same capabilities and insecurities as the day before. Albeit, perhaps there is something more symbolic about making a change in a different year and we can’t deny that the opportunity to write it in a new diary seems pretty definitive…
People may feel pressure to set New Year’s resolution, lots of people do it. I personally believe there is no time like the present: why do tomorrow what you can do today? If it’s about eating that bit healthier, or going to more of your lectures, why not start now? You’ll only start to see the benefits sooner.
So, is there really any point in making New Year’s resolutions at all? Of course, improving your mind, changing your diet or seeing your friends more would all be positive changes to your life, but I don’t see the appeal of putting pressure on yourself to make this change on the 1st of January.
If anything, setting resolutions might be more negative than one would think. There is a tendency to be over ambitious – I know I certainly am, when deciding what to do on a day to day basis! We think it’s within our capabilities but it isn’t. Surely this makes us more unhappy than we would have been, had we not made the resolution? This isn’t to say don’t try, some people respond well to the pressure, but if you don’t, then trying might make you feel depressed by the fact you didn’t stick to those very ambitious targets you’ve set. Maybe try something trivial. Nutritional therapist and instagrammer, Madeleine Shaw, has as one of her resolutions, the aim to make her son laugh every day. A trivial resolution may be more fun than a chore.
Maybe you’ve set some resolutions or perhaps you’re going to. Maybe you’ve been successful (in which case well done, you did it!) or you may have broken them already. Whatever the case I think it’s important to consider a few things: think twice about putting the pressure on yourself, self-improvement is great but at the same time, unnecessary pressure is not; however, if there is something, waiting for one day won’t be of any benefit. Any day is a good time to make a change.