Grace Gorenflo mug

Dear readers (and targeted marketing campaigns),

I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions, but hear me out.

Today marks one month into the new year and, though you promised yourself you’d stick to your guns this time around, I bet your resolutions are already slipping. In fact, I’d guess they’ve already sunk. 

But that’s okay. Personally, I didn’t make a New Year’s resolution for 2020, and I never do. I believe all it does is set us up for failure, and here’s why.

Resolutions tend to be too drastic to be implemented successfully. Going cold turkey doesn’t typically work, and neither does going full force. Long-term change needs to be habitual, and, by definition, you can’t build new habits overnight. Incremental changes are much more digestible. Think baby steps. 

Resolutions are also often fueled by societal pressures rather than our own wants or needs. Change is healthy only if it stems from healthy reasons. Other people’s opinions and/or judgments are not one of those reasons. Plus, new habits are a result of prioritization. If you don’t truly want something, you’re not going to make the time for it. 

Lastly, we too often use negativity and remorse as a catalyst for change. Hating yourself is not good motivation. If something inspires you, makes you feel good or brings you joy, you’ll choose to keep it in your life. Find the light instead of dwelling on the darkness.

Ironically, resolutions give us a reason to slack off. If (and when) we fail, we think “better luck next time” and wait out the rest of the year. But the truth is that life is not linear. We are always going to have ups and downs, so we should continually be working to improve ourselves. 

This year, let’s be more intentional with our time and decisions. If constant connectivity is making you anxious, put your phone down. If responsibilities are too heavy, learn to say no. At the end of the day, rely on your gut and yours alone.

Life is busy. Heck, life is hectic, and 2020 has already been proven to be a wacky year. Don’t be too hard on yourself and trust that when you truly want change to come, you’ll be capable of it — even in July.

Here’s to believing in yourself, shortcomings and all.

Grace Gorenflo

A hypocritical PS: If I had to recommend one resolution, it would be this: unfollow and disconnect yourself from anyone who makes you feel “less than” or not good enough. Lend your attention only to people who are unapologetically living their truth without tearing others down. Let it inspire you to do the same.