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January 1st can be an exciting time for many. The sound of the ticking clock signals a change in state, the close of one chapter, and the opening of a new one. A global holiday celebrated across all continents and cultures, New Year’s serves as a profound reminder of the passage of time and the limitless opportunities that accompany new beginnings. The night sky is illuminated by fireworks, reflecting the immense optimism in the atmosphere. It is a picture of hope, a testament to the idea that fresh starts always hold the possibility of good things arising from them. As we celebrate and embrace this time of change, we often hear the phrase, “New year, new me.” Although this expression’s sentiment stems from the desire for positive change and personal development, it can also lead us to feel like we need to set sometimes unrealistic expectations for ourselves in order to have a successful and productive year. 

While setting goals for the new year and striving to accomplish these goals is a positive thing, being hard on yourself for not being able to accomplish them is not. According to ForbesHealth, the average resolution lasts approximately 3.74 months. ForbesHealth also found through a conducted survey that the top three resolutions for 2024 were improved fitness, improved finances, and improved mental health. (Davis, 2023).

While these are all positive resolutions to work towards going into the new year, it is important that we show ourselves grace, kindness, and patience. Too often, when we establish goals for ourselves and don’t meet them, we can develop feelings of failure that go on to damage our self-esteem, which in turn may lead to worry and stress in addition to harming our mental health and well-being. (Everett, 2023). Not meeting these goals in the way you may have hoped for does not mean that you failed. Each milestone and step towards fulfilling a goal deserves a celebration. 

The questions we tend to ask ourselves are “Why do so many of us tend to give up on our resolutions?” and “Why are we so hard on ourselves if we don’t reach our goals?” Maybe some of us feel pressure to set ambitious goals for ourselves, or maybe we want to experience a significant change within ourselves in a short period of time. But, we also have to keep in mind that sometimes, events happen in our lives that are completely out of our control. These events are unexpected, and most importantly, not our fault for happening. Deciding to set a goal aside until you are ready to work towards it again is completely valid.

The great thing about setting goals is that we get to make the rules. You choose when you start working towards your goal and what the timeline will be. If January 1st isn’t the right day to start, it is more than okay to pick another day in the year that works best for you. Everyone is on their own individual journey, and we accomplish things at different points in our lives. Going at your own pace is and always will be enough. The new year doesn’t mean you have to change anything about yourself, and doesn’t mean that there should be a “new you”. You are enough just the way you are at this moment. 

If you are looking for some ideas on how to further support your mental well-being, check out this article from Mental Health First Aid about resolutions centered around mental health. If you are struggling, remember that you are not alone. Help is always available. Call or text 988 anytime for support.

Works Cited:

Davis, S. (2023, December 18). New Year’s resolutions statistics 2024. Forbes.

Everett, A. (2023, December 27). New Year’s resolutions: Building Good Mental Health Habits. SAMHSA. 


  • Career Updraft

    Love this reminder that we are enough as we are, and every small step counts. Here is to a year of self-kindness and growth at our own pace.

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    Let’s embrace the journey of growth and improvement, celebrating each step forward, regardless of the pace.

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