As the christmas celebrations come to an end and the end of the year draws ever closer, my social media is filled with resolutions and people looking back over the past year trying to determine what will make 2018 more successful.
Now, I may be a little bit biased but to me New years resolutions are pointless, stupid and dangerous. Many of the people I know who've been in hospital for things such as eating disorders all started out as a new years resolution. And not only that but what is the point in promising to do something like go to the gym simply because it is a new year?
Nothing annoys me more than the diet and gym new years resolutions, the ones that nearly all of us make. Yes, I may hate them but it doesn't mean that in the past it hasn't been me making them, I'm just as guilty. It makes me sad to see friends and family around me decide that to be more successful they need to diet, or that in order to be happier they should exercise 24/7. It particularly frustrates me when they feel the need to do it because of what they have eaten over christmas.
Im not one who's against exercise or even healthy eating for that matter, but if ur choosing it as a new years resolution I just don't believe that your in the right mind set. Exercise should be fun, something you want to do and something beneficial towards your mental wellbeing- not the opposite. And I especially hate it when people believe that losing weight or getting fitter is the only way that they will be successful over the upcoming year.
Because at the end of the day, what is success anyway?
Is it as we are told by the media, a stick thin body?
Is it having the latest iPhone or gadget?
Is it being better than all your friends at sport?
Getting top grades?
Getting the most Instagram likes?
Or, is it simply being happy in ourselves?
I guess it looks different to everyone.
I often find myself getting wrapped up and worried about what those around me are doing and feeling that in some way because I'm not doing that I have failed. I compare myself to my best friend and her success at rowing, and constantly put myself down. Yet really I have improved so much since last year I should be looking at that instead. Because, that is a success. I do the same with a lot of my friends at uni, some whom are succeeding academically or some that are simply having the time of their lives. But, when I take a back seat and think about it they too are feeling the same about another area of life.
I don’t think there is one person who could confidently say that there isn't anything they wish they were better at or one person that feels like there completely and utterly successful. But why?
It’s probably impossible when using todays societies definition of success. That voice that tells us that whatever we do, we must do it better.
The voice coming from the media, the government and schools. The education system thats determined to turn children into exam producing robots, the media that critises celebrities for every decision they make. Sometimes even from our friends and family. Brainwashing the world into thinking that to be happy you must do better.
However, we are all successful in our own ways. For some that is sport, some that is being academic, some thats friendships. Others that might be simply finishing a meal, or even getting out of bed. We need to stop judging ourselves, comparing ourselves and putting us down. We need to stand up to the voices telling us to do better, and tell them that we are doing our best.
Instead of making resolutions about how we can be more of a success, why not make a resolution to notice and praises yours and those around you successes? Tell your friend, or family member what they have done this year that your proud of and maybe you'll get something in return.
Stop listening to the negative side of society, and learn to shout about what you have done well. Be proud of yourself for every little thing. Work toward the success that is happiness. Because life is too short to be anything but happy.
- Lauren x