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5 New Year’s Resolutions You Should Get Out of Your Head

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Goal setting is a wonderful, admirable thing, but it’s morphed into something less achievable and insightful than it was intended to be. I’m not setting the traditional New Year’s Resolutions this year because I don’t feel it serves me anymore. However, I do think New Year’s Resolutions can be a good way to start a new year, as long as you avoid these five common, cliche, and disheartening resolutions.

Resolution #1: Lose Weight

I love when people embark a journey to be healthier and improve their quality of life. It’s pretty much what I live for. That being said, the New Year’s Resolution to “lose 10 pounds” is so ambiguous that it makes me cringe. There’s a lot wrong with making this resolution, and it’s not that I don’t think people should want to lose weight if they’re overweight and unhappy.

First, saying you want to lose weight in the new year is just setting yourself up to fail. The number on the scale can’t represent your health or your size in an honest way. If you go into the new year lifting weights, running, and eating healthy, you’ll probably lose a few pounds, but you’ll also build muscle. Muscle weighs more than fat, so if you’re adding muscle while also burning fat, you won’t see a quick and vast drop in weight.

What you will find, however, is that you’re stronger, leaner, tighter, and more energized. So instead of aiming toward a goal weight, set a resolution to lose inches, run a 10-minute mile, lift 15lb dumbbells, or complete a half-marathon. These types of resolutions aren’t vague or dependent on finicky things, like water weight, and you have more control over whether or not you complete them.

Resolution #2: Meet a Guy, Fall in Love, and Get Married

When I hear someone say they want to find love in the new year, my insides melt, and not in a sweet-and-mushy way; more like the I-drank-acid-and-everything-is-liquifying way. Why, why, why do we think this is something we can control and make a goal? You can’t control this. I’ve gone over a year without meeting a single guy I wanted to consider an actual future with, and I’ve met more than my fair share of single men. Do I want to get married? Yes, of course I do. But I don’t want to make this a goal with a deadline that can crush me in 12 months if I’m still single.

Falling in love and getting married in a year isn’t something you can man-handle (pun intended), and a one-year timeline is questionable. How well can you get to know someone in a year or less? I’ve known my little brother for 20 years and I learn new things about him every day. I beg you to ditch this type of resolution, and instead, set goals to travel somewhere new, spend more time with friends, and learn to love yourself for who you are and what you have to offer.

You don’t need a man to make your life better, so let’s not treat relationships as an acquisition.

Resolution #3: Read the Entire Bible

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to read the Bible from start to finish. There is, however, something wrong with wanting to read the whole thing once to just to say you did and then not make reading passages a part of your remaining life. Christianity doesn’t work that way. If you want to make a resolution to be more religious, in whatever religion you practice, then absolutely do that. Just don’t plan to do it for one year and think that you’ll be done for life.

Like any habit or practice, life can get in the way sometimes, so it’s not feasible or practical to say you’ll read X number of pages of the bible everyday. You’ll have to skip for the mountain of laundry at some point, and something might come up the next day to push you further off schedule. So instead of setting this resolution, make an intention to work on this for the rest of your life. Growth and change is a lifelong process after all.

Resolution #4: Save More Money

Financial awareness and responsibility is a beautiful thing. I commend anyone who resolves to save more and spend less because I know how freaking hard it is to not get that $5 coffee on Monday morning. My issue with this resolution, however, is that it’s vague and doesn’t reflect any sort of plan for saving money. You can’t just say “I’m going to save more money this year!” and go into it blind.

If you want to save more money in the new year, then why not set a resolution to put all of your loose change in a jar and then take it to the bank at the end of the year? How easy is that? Or you can resolve to only buy that designer coffee once a week instead of every day, and put that extra cash in your savings. Small plans like this are so much easier to maintain and commit to than a foggy plan to just “save more.”

Resolution #5: Be a Better Person

I have nothing against working to be a better person. I have something against this as a New Year’s Resolution. You see, being a better person should be what you work toward your whole life. There’s no cap on personal growth, and one year of working toward it won’t mean you’re done forever. Why not make a resolution to volunteer at a soup kitchen once a month? Or commit to doing something special and sentimental for your loved ones each month? Or sending cards to friends who live out of state every now and then? These are the types of self-improvement resolutions you should be making.

Making changes, no matter if it’s a New Year’s Resolution or not, is a positive thing. We should all strive to improve in the various areas of our lives, but it’s important to do this with goals that don’t set us up for failure. Think about what you want to do in the new year, and then turn it into a resolution that you can actually measure honestly and stick with.

Follow Terra on Instagram: @terrabrown3

Last modified on January 11th, 2018

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