Late 20s Rut-BustingAn Argument For Big New Year's ResolutionsMary Traina

I know. New Year’s resolutions can be annoying. What I find most annoying about them is that you get yourself excited about it; you get all fired up on January 1st, only to discover that you’re not the only one. You hit the gym and find every machine is taken. The locker room is so full that people inevitably bump butts. Suddenly, your fear of failing increases simply because you can sense the collective fear of failure in that stinky, bleach-y air.

I hate gyms.

Yet, even though it feels pointless, I always make a resolution. Even though I feel doomed to fail, I do it all year long. Any day I think of something I wish I were doing, I start that resolution immediately and I try my hardest to keep it. I don’t regulate my clumsy efforts to New Year’s: I fail literally all. year. long.

But I also succeed! Sometimes! Rarely! But it happens! I think I’ve found that the best resolutions for me are dramatic ones. Every now and then I read an article with great advice, like this one, but they always tend to encourage people to start small. Just make one small change, they say, like eating breakfast. Eventually, your healthy eating habits will begin to snowball and your bigger goal will be achieved! However, in my experience, small changes are bulls**t. Sorry, small changes, but I’m calling you out!

Some of us out there are cursed with an internal gear set to “Go Big Or Go Home.” I’ve never slowly convinced myself to change. I can’t outsmart myself that way. My brain always catches on and has this lousy habit of bucking the system when it thinks I’m trying to pull a fast one. When I want to change something about my life, I have to get completely on board right from the start. I have to make a U-turn and essentially charge like I’m going in to battle; all hands on deck. I’m always working on kicking bad habits, as you can see in my Late 20s Rut-Busting series. If you find that you struggle with gradual change, maybe you and I aren’t so different.

So this New Year’s, let’s agree to accept that about us. Let’s agree that, for us, the only option is to go big. Let’s resolve to work out more AND eat healthier AND read more books! Why ease in? Why hang on to a status quo you aren’t happy with? Small changes inevitably become a small priority. Big changes become a challenge; would you be more excited and proud to climb a mountain or a molehill? (Climbing molehills. So hot right now. Moles are like, ugh, stop it!) Think of it like a fight. For example, if cutting out soda is part of your plan, you can do it! Every time your spineless subconscious reaches out to pick up a six-pack at the grocery store, you need to stand tall and yell, “NO!”

“No, Subconscious, you sly fox, you! I am not drinking soda anymore!” you’ll declare, as small children become frightened and begin to cry.

Also, let’s tell everyone our resolutions. Go ahead; be smug and brag like you’ve already achieved it. You have to put yourself at risk of being made fun of if you fail. Or, I’m sorry, what’s the friendly way to say that? You have to have people “holding you accountable.” (wink!)

And if you don’t get straight A’s this semester or can’t stop yourself from watching The Real Housewives Of Garbagetown, don’t be so hard on yourself. That’s counter productive to the movement, nerd! If we fail this January – if we bump butts, inhale the stink of strangers and eventually quit – we’ll just set a new goal in February. That’s just how it goes. Maybe we’ll give yoga a whirl or hire a personal trainer. After all, don’t think about it as your dramatic goal that failed: think about it as the gym failing you because, again, I personally do not enjoy those stinky, sweat-holes.

Get on board, lazy Subconscious! Your little buddy Hostess is out of business! In 2013, we’re going big!

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  • Lindsay Hyatt

    I like when I’m told it’s cool to go for it. Because I’m very impatient. Great article!
    LH @

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  • Velya Jancz-Urban – …”Maybe it’s the word resolution that bugs me. To be resolute is to be determined and unwavering. There are very few things in life that I’m unwavering about, except maybe washing my face before bed, not killing spiders and questioning authority…”

  • Velya Jancz-Urban

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  • Ivan Remtoula

    I think it’s pretty hard to keep your resolutions. As you said, you’re all excited about it, and weeks later, you’ve forgotten them and you’re back on your old habits. Let’s try to make and to keep small resolutions. You may not like it, but it sounds easier. The hardest part is not to break them.

    In 2013, I hope I am a better, stronger and wiser person than I was last year. Obviously, I can become a better person than I was yesterday, but doesn’t it sound better if I start it on January 1st? I’ll do whatever it takes to reach those goals. I hope I’ll be able to succeed.

    Great article, and good luck to both of us :-)

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