As much as we may try to deny it, 2018’s arrival is approaching blisteringly fast. With that comes the influx of gym, new car, financial planning, and travel advertisements. Turn on the TV, check Facebook, or open your favorite celebrity magazine and “A new year, a new you!” bombards us from every corner.
Look, I’m the first one to say I’d like to lose (at least) 20 pounds, finally organize closets, and find a way to be a more patient person. Kudos to anyone who declare a New Year’s resolution and bring it to fruition. If the calendar flipping to 2018 jumpstarts your motivation, then all the power to you. I get it. Trust me.
But what if I want to just be ME?
I believe that, inherently, everyone experiences personal growth from year to year. That growth, though, evolves over time and often is a subconscious product. No doubt that I’m wiser, more experienced, and hopefully more enlightened than I was 365 days ago. Only 8 percent of people report that they have followed through with their resolution. If you ask me, sometimes New Year’s resolutions can lead us down a path of setting ourselves up for failure. And that isn’t a great feeling.
As women, it’s easy to feel like our luggage is overflowing on an endless guilt trip: “Am I reading enough to my kid?” “I should have handled that meltdown differently.” “If only I was a dress size smaller.” “Maybe I should have approached that work situation from a different angle.” “Why doesn’t my house look like that?”
The point is, we already question ourselves enough. Do we really need a commercial break in the middle of Grey’s Anatomy to be telling us that we should reinvent ourselves, or some facet of our lives, to be successful? And we definitely don’t need to add “why couldn’t I follow through on my resolution?” to that litany of self-doubt.
I’m not to trying to slight those who truly want to make New Year’s resolutions because they work for them. Additionally, I’m certainly not saying we should stay stagnant. Goals can be achieved and be celebrated. However, we should respect ourselves to rise above what commercialism tells us we need to be or do to be “better” and the timeframe to accomplish that. Personal growth isn’t something that you need to declare to anyone or even yourself on January 1st.
It’s okay to be the perfectly wonderful not-always-perfect version of yourself that you are right now because:
You’re a great mom, no matter what the number on the scale says.
You’re great at your job even if you have grey hairs and brow lines.
You’re intelligent even if your life feels frenzied and disorganized.
You’re interesting and exciting even if you don’t take four vacations each year.
Be authentic to yourself. That’s more important than tying your success to some seemingly obligatory resolution discussed at the office water cooler. If you want to make changes, make them because you want to. Know though, resolutions aren’t a requirement to be happy or successful.
So, raise that glass of champagne to toast to a new year – a new year of being “just” you, imperfections and all.