By Hayley Cunningham, Columnist
With the New Year comes another opportunity to better ourselves and become more like the people we aspire to be. While every day is a chance to start anew, for some reason it just feels better to take that first step with everyone else, at a time dedicated to leaving the past behind and venturing boldly into tomorrow.
Yet resolving to change on a specific day does not seem to help us achieve what we set out to do. In fact, we do not even expect one another to follow through with New Year’s resolutions. We usually do not mind when, midway through January, we slip back to our old ways and accept that we will just have to wait until next year to try again.
It does not have to be this way! The New Year is the perfect opportunity to change for the better, but to be successful you must resolve to do something you really want to do (not just something you think you should do) and that you are capable of doing.
When I started pondering what I might resolve to do this year, a seemingly excellent resolution came to mind: I should find more balance in my life. For me, this would mean relaxing more and working less. While this is theoretically the healthiest resolution I could make, I was honest with myself and recognized that I am simply not ready. While the idea that someone is unable or unwilling to relax may be a foreign concept to many,the notion that we may not be willing to do things that are good for us I am sure is very familiar.
Maybe I should relax more and work less, but I am not going to waste my resolution on a goal I have little chance of reaching. Instead, this year I resolve to be more self-accepting.
While learning to accept oneself can be challenging, the difference between a successful resolution and a forgotten one is not the level of difficulty associated with making a change, but whether or not we actually resolve to take the steps necessary to follow through.
When I find myself working on a Friday evening wondering why I do not want to do what I “should” want to do, or when I feel anxious or sad for no logical reason and wish I could just feel the emotions I “should” feel, I resolve to shut down self- deprecating thoughts and accept every part of myself. I will remember that is it my dedication and work ethic that allows me to succeed and that no one is happy all the time. If there are steps I can take to improve my mood, I will take them.