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NEW YEAR, NEW ME: Why New Year's Resolutions SUCK

Illustration by Emilie

Ever since I developed into a young, socially conscious adult (aka someone with Internet access, curiosity, and social media accounts), I’ve been hearing the whole “New Year, New Me” shtick. Year in, year out we hear the same thing about change and progress, about that ever-elusive “glo up” and how “___ is going to be my year.” There are even memes about it. (Then again, there are memes about pretty much everything…)

At some point, you’d think people would realize that the planet managing to complete a rotation around the sun doesn’t actually mean anything about their own personal behavior.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I love myself a good New Year’s resolution. In fact, since the clock struck 12 on Sunday morning, bringing with it a new calendar year and plenty of drunken shenanigans around the globe, I have made a solid list of goals for 2017.

My issue is not with goal making and planning — those are useful organizational and motivational tools that I love. (Seriously. I make lists constantly.)

But why do we have to wait until the year restarts to challenge ourselves or to direct ourselves toward specific accomplishments we wish to achieve? “New Year, New Me” is one of the silliest concepts I have ever heard of, considering that humans develop and grow and change with every breath they take and with every experience they undergo. I do not instantly metamorphose into some kind of awe-inspiring and inherently better creature on January 1st every year. If that were the case, I would totally hold the bar higher for myself in terms of what and where I want to be, how I plan to get to that point, and how long it will take me to do it.

The new year has already begun and I hope it has been treating you kindly. Take a few words of advice, though — change isn’t instantaneous, so neither is improvement.

If looking at a new calendar year helps you to conceptualize, plan, and carry out your goals, then, by all means, utilize that mindset to your fullest advantage. However, try not to let that be the end of things.

Instead of making numerous New Year’s resolutions that you may or may not commit to, make one (or a few) specific, attainable goals for 2017 and hold yourself accountable by thinking of steps that you can take each month to fulfill your resolution(s). Monthly goals not only hold you accountable to your year-long goal by reminding you that it exists, but they also keep you on the right track toward completing this long-term self-improvement process. Also, you can accomplish a lot more in one month than you think! You might surprise yourself.

Maybe by the end of the year there really will be a new you.


Emilie is a 14 year old California native. She loves not only art but conspiracy theories and binge watching New Girl. In her free time, she is either drawing or sleeping.

Gabi Matthews is a sensitive plant from the East Coast, a published author (pen name "enke") & a multimedia creator extraordinaire. Catch Gabi on Instagram @elleschiss!

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