It’s that time in our lives again – the culmination of one year and the opening of another. Many people use this date to act irresponsibly for one more day – drink to their hearts’ desire, party until their bodies go numb, and smoke up to kill those vexing brain cells. The next day, while battling that rough hangover and trying to reconcile what was shattered the night before, they pledge to better themselves by making New Year’s resolutions they promise to stick to this time.

This might be my own bitterness for the mistakes I’ve made, but I’m pleading to you to not fall prey to this construct of our society. The whole concept of New Year’s resolutions is flawed and will not help you better yourself; you’ll just have a sickening revulsion towards yourself if – and surely when – you fail yourself. There are many misconceptions that need to be tackled.

New Year’s resolutions really don’t need to be made on New Year’s. If what you’re trying to achieve through your resolution is actually significant to you, why did you wait until January 1st? Unless you genuinely reevaluated your life on December 31st, you’re probably just following the New Year’s Resolution bandwagon. However cynical and judgmental this may seem on my part, it’s just that it would appear that people are changing their own personalities or attacking themselves heavily in order to have a ‘resolution’ to tweet about. Real change and serious life commitments don’t wait for January 1st.

Why wait until New Years for a fresh start?
Why wait until New Year’s for a fresh start?

However, there is some good that comes from New Year’s Resolutions, including the genuine, down-to-earth promises people make to themselves. Yet, changes don’t happen overnight, and rarely do they all happen at once. For people who decided that they’ll stop whatever habit they used to enjoy but are not disgusted by, such as emotional eating, smoking, procrastinating, and all the infamous ones tackled in many New Year’s Resolutions, know that the process is much harder than you think it is. You need to gradually work through these habits. Analyze what it is that that makes you eat, smoke, or procrastinate, and then eliminate it from your life. Exploit whatever you can that can make you stop. Most importantly, be realistic when it comes your goals. You might fail once, twice, or even multiple times, but that shouldn’t make you enter that vicious cycle of self-contempt and disappointment. Failure is expected – learn from it, instead of tormenting yourself over it.

This article is in no way trying to discourage you from improving yourself. On the contrary, improve yourself and take that journey, but only do so if and only if you’re ready. If you’re willing to acknowledge the truth in your motives, if you’re willing to accept the hiccups that may or may not occur, and if you’re willing to do everything in your power to achieve your goal, then, by all means, tackle it and make yourself proud.