Opinion: New Year’s resolutions should be taken out in the 2021 trash


Mikalah Kostalas

These New Year’s resolutions promote a healthier lifestyle for our mental and physical health

Mikalah Kostalas, Staff Writer

Year after year, we are pressured into romanticizing unideal lifestyles, hoping, “Maybe this year I’ll get my life together” or “Maybe this year I’ll be more like her.” However, quite frankly it’s well overdue that we dethrone these toxic traditions and instead turn them into something that makes us content rather than drained of our joy completely.
Many people are familiar with figures on social media platforms that vlog their perfect “daily lifestyle” and leave the rest of us thinking that since our days don’t play out like that, we are unproductive. If getting a bowl of cereal and curling up to watch Netflix makes you happy, keep doing it! These “resolutions” are implying that we have to ditch our happiness so that we can live some aesthetic, unideal lifestyle.
We don’t have to keep sacrificing our mental health in order to “get our life together.” As more ancient traditions get debunked yearly, let’s take out “resolutions” as well during our transition to the new year.

“I’m going to lose 20 pounds this year”

Seems harmless, right? Unfortunately, goals like this tend to do more harm than good.
The way our brains are designed leads us into directions we don’t foresee when we make goals like this. A desire to reach weight x by date y deteriorates our self worth as we know it.
An overwhelming force of anxiety is brought upon us to achieve a potentially unachievable goal. A stable starting point is crucial, and if your intentions root from hatred for yourself, you won’t make it far into the year. As much as we would like to disagree with the truth, it is undeniable that “failing” to achieve these resolutions can be detrimental to mental health.
It leaves people with false hopes, low self esteem, and even can go as far as thinking we will never be able to achieve goals we set for ourselves in the future. Even if you end the year with 20 pounds down, you are potentially creating no room in your mentality for any gain at all, without feeling like a failure. No one has to lose weight and to be completely honest, this borderline fat-shaming resolution should be abandoned as a whole.
This drop-off may be more difficult for the old generation as they have lived through the unforgiving diet culture of the 90’s. According to Prevention, almost 50% of New Year’s resolutions are aimed towards losing weight.
The solution hiding in the dark needs to be brought into light. Instead of setting this goal, create a compromise within yourself and allow room for yourself to flourish in the new year.

I have the intentions of being healthier this year

“This year, I am going to be less stressed”

In the world we live in, stress is inevitable. Sometimes, we use stress-coping mechanisms to ground ourselves and calm down any overbearing emotional flare-ups.
A lot of the time, focusing on your stress (and getting rid of it) makes you focus on the negativity rather than forgetting about it. When we say we will be less stressed, we are beginning a vicious cycle that we might not be able to identify before it’s too late. Once we start stressing out- we will become stressed out because we told ourselves we wouldn’t become stressed and so on.
We don’t have to be less stressed, if anything we just have to learn how to deal with it better. It’s quite literally impossible to not let something stress you out. A goal about changing the way you live your life, is forcing you to walk around masking your true emotions.
According to psychotherapist Hilary Jacobs Hendel, ignoring your emotions is like, “hitting the gas and the brakes on your car at the same time.” Counterproductive, right?
If your intentions are to start working towards living in peace with yourself, acknowledging your emotions is a healthy first step.

I have the intentions of beginning a more mentally peaceful lifestyle within my own raw emotions

“This year I’m going to be more positive”

The intentions behind this resolution are not at all mean-spirited. However, setting a standard like this for yourself is exhausting. Especially after the past few years, everyone is completely drained.
Thinking that an achievable goal will help you cope with the obstacles this year has in store is overall setting you up for failure. In complete honesty, if you identify within yourself a problem you would like to change, chances are you’ve already tried to change it and you did not succeed.
Naz Baheshti from Forbes Woman Magazine explains that you have to develop the attitude of intention and keep it year round, instead of just flipping a switch one day. Rome was not built in a day, and it will take time for anyone to start a time consuming and demanding habit.
The aura around resolutions makes a toxic standard that we MUST change what we don’t like about ourselves no matter what. No one has to change and in any ways whatsoever, should resolutions be romanticized or expected of anyone in order to truly move forward positively with our lives.

My intentions are to take events that go on in my life and navigate them in ways I find most comfortable for myself