New Year, Same You

Every year, on January 1st, people make resolutions. They promise to change, give something up, or do something new. In so many cases, these same people never follow through. There is something refreshing about moving forward into a new year, and it always inspires the hope that we will make ourselves better than we were before. But what would happen if we just accepted who we are, and simply made improvements in our everyday life? What if prioritizing our health and wellness was the standard? It would certainly be much easier to accomplish our goals and to live a full, happy life.

It seems that January 1st is like a deadline. We make sure to eat that last piece of pizza or smoke that last cigarette on New Year’s Eve. There is this impending pressure to do something healthy, or something that society defines as “better", when each new year approaches. If people made health and wellness a priority in their everyday lives, there would be no need for resolutions and the pressure to change. By forming these resolutions and giving in to societal pressure, we are setting expectations that we may not meet. And what happens when we don’t meet these expectations? We feel that we have failed ourselves, when, in reality, we may have set ourselves up for this failure.

Don’t get me wrong; failure can be important and valuable in that it teaches us how to appreciate when we are successful. However, it is also important that we challenge ourselves to raise our standards for health and wellness in everyday life, and not just when the new year comes around. If we did this, there would be less need for accountability and expectations, and far more happiness and feeling as though we have succeeded. At the end of the day, if we are truly happy and healthy, there isn’t much more we need.

Whatever your idea of total well-being is, just live it. As long as you take care of yourself mind, body, and soul, there is no reason to change or set unrealistic expectations. We are all wise enough to know that junk food isn’t good for us, smoking harms our body, and excessive alcohol is damaging (just to name a few examples). If we carry this wisdom with us, we should then also be wise enough to eat clean, do what we can to minimize stress, take care of our body, and stay active. If you’re doing the best you can, there is no reason to feel as though you’ve failed. So while it may be a new year, it doesn't mean there has to be a new you. Instead of focusing on one big change, just focus on making each day the healthiest and happiest you can.