We All Need To Stop Resolution-Shaming

Well, here we are again. 2015 is coming to a close and, while many of us continue to reflect on the year we’re leaving behind, we are just as focused on what we have planned for the future. As, you know, human beings, most of us are constantly seeking ways to better ourselves personally, socially, and professionally. We are persistently evolving and seeking self-improvement. This, at the surface, sounds like a great thing! But it seems as though many people take issue with this, especially throughout the holiday season.

New Year’s is one of the greatest times of the year. Everyone is gleaming from spending time with their loved ones during the holidays while also looking forward to celebrating the ringing in of the New Year with hopeful hearts and new expectations. But, just like most joyous and exciting things nowadays, there is always someone on the other side just waiting to piss on your parade of newfound optimism. This is particularly true when it comes to New Year’s Resolutions.

So, it’s December 27th, New Year’s Eve is fast approaching. What is your resolution going to be this year?! This is an all too common dilemma many of us face every December. Some of us aim to eat healthier and exercise more while others wish to socialize more and push ourselves to be more outgoing. There is just something about the promise of a new year that feels like a fresh start, a new opportunity to accomplish things that may have been thrown on the backburner in 2015. So why are people, namely on social media, so quick to shut down the high hopes of resolution-setters?

The most glaring explanation is the fact that, sure, these resolutions don’t usually last very long into the New Year, especially those resolutions related to health and fitness. Because, you know, sometimes life gets in the way and you have other mounting responsibilities that keep you from hitting the gym twice a day or revolving your entire daily food intake around kale and quinoa. No matter what your resolutions seem to be, though, there always seems to be someone doubting your potential to achieve and fulfill your January promises.

On December 7th, a teen tweeted: “And the annoying New Year resolution’s that never come to fruition begin.” Or there’s this one: “This is the most annoying part of the year at the gym because it’s so packed full of people who start their “New Year’s Resolution”.”

And I get it, avid gym goers, I do. You exercise all year and all of a sudden people you’ve never seen before take your favorite machines! How frustrating! Absolute blasphemy. But, how about, just for a second, you take a peek from the other perspective. Think of when you first started working out, whether you’ve always been the athletic type and you exercise to maintain that, or maybe there was a point where even you were unhappy with your body or your health.

In other words, everyone starts somewhere, and it’s really not fair for to criticize those who haven’t had their start yet, even if they choose to get their start at the same time everyone else does. Personal goals are sometimes difficult to maintain and it might be time for people to be more accepting of that.

Something else to consider is how the continual negativity of those naysayers could actually be part of the reason why these New Year’s resolutions never “come to fruition.” It just seems as though people tend to find it easier to accomplish things when the people around them are cheering them on and encouraging them rather than tearing them down and waiting around for their failure. Just a thought.

So, if you have a resolution set for 2016, or maybe set a few for 2015 that you never followed through on, know that I believe in you. There are people who want to see you happy and want to see you succeed, no matter how few they may seem at times. Whether your goal is health focused or not: go out there and absolutely kick ass, because you can, and you will. But also, if it turns out that 2016 isn’t the year you sculpt yourself into a juice-cleansing runway model, that’s okay too.

Just know that no matter how big the task, you are not defined by the people who say you can’t. And to the people who thrive off of the failures of others, I believe in you too. I believe that you can make a difference and learn to cheer people on, because, in the end, doubting and critiquing others who are trying to change themselves for the better does not make you or your accomplishments any more superior. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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