Self-Care Sunday: New Year Resolutions

Illustration by Malaika Astorga

Happy 2018! I hope everyone had a good time over the holidays. If you didn't, at least they're over now and you can focus on yourself and the things you have ahead of you. The holidays are also a time of reflection and of setting new resolutions for yourself. A new year can be a clean slate and provide a new beginning — an idea that is comforting and encouraging and motivating if you need change in your life. However, the goals we set for ourselves can be really vague and unrealistic. Some people try to make radical change — like only eating salad when they're used to eating pasta or hamburgers for every meal — and realize how difficult changes can be to stick to. They give up and end up disappointed in themselves for no reason.

I don't really believe in New Year's resolutions. Setting strict and high reaching goals for yourself increases the chance that you're less likely to stick to them and you will never really see real change. Real change takes time and requires you to start small. Do you want to lose weight? Set a small goal of going for a 15-minute walk every day. Do you want to develop a healthy sleeping schedule? Start to reset your sleeping time by 15 minutes every other day until you reach a healthy goal. Do you want to read more books? Start with dedicating 30 minutes of your week to reading for pleasure. Real change requires new habits to be formed and those aren't going to happen overnight. They will take time and effort.

Another important thing to remember as the New Year rolls around is that the hare didn't win the race — the turtle did. As much as we want big change to happen quickly, it often doesn't. And that's ok. Slow and steady, at the end of the day, is what gets things done. We may feel like others are moving faster than us, but everyone moves at different paces and comparison is the death of progress. What matters is that you keep pushing and reward yourself for the little things. The little things add up to the big things and are just as worthy of celebration.

I hope 2018 is a year full of great things for every single one of our readers! Reach out with your self-care goals to to be featured in our bi-weekly column!