2017 Reminder: You’re Already Great

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By Casey Rose Frank

The promise of a new year is often one of hope and inspiration, with many of us praying that a new year will also bring bigger and brighter things. In the wake of the garbage fire that was 2016 in can be easy to want to pin our hopes on a better year ahead, but after watching 30 new years come into being, I’ve found there’s little magic that happens simply by flipping the calendar.

The concept of new year’s resolutions has become a particularly troubling one for me, a tradition that has become deeply entrenched in the murk of feeling like you’re not good enough. The diet industry makes money hand over fist each January as people seek to make themselves smaller, to meet an impossible cultural ideal. People swear they will become more organized, that they’ll make the most beautiful bullet journals social media has ever seen, that they will finally become the tiny, efficient, perfect human beings that they have apparently failed to be year after year.

I’ve gotten on that path in the past and generally end up completely disappointed when I am not a perfect human being by February. But, I set myself up for that disappointment with my impossible goals the month before. I’m not saying to stop dreaming, to stop being resolved to obtain the things you want, but that maybe the things you want should be in keeping with what already makes you great.

Last year I resolved to stay the same, to keep reading books, keep treating my health as a journey and not a destination, and to keep finding new tools for my creativity. I wanted to celebrate the things I did that already felt healthy for me.

This year I want to build on that and resolve to do more of things that make me happy, healthy, and whole.

I am once more resolved to keep reading the kinds of books I love, and to then seek out books in genres outside my comfort zone, to meet people and characters who challenge my viewpoints or who can teach me something new.

I will again treat my health as a journey and not a destination, and to do more of what feels good and less of what doesn’t. More stretching in bed and random five minute office dance parties peppered throughout the day, less classes with instructors who yell and people who body-shame.

I want to see more art and watch more movies.

I want to write more words and tell more stories.

I want to visit more locations and spend more time bundled up on my couch. These are not contradictory thoughts, but rather two of the things that make me the happiest and I shouldn’t feel guilt for finding them equally appealing.

And that’s what it’s really about, not feeling guilty for liking what I like, or for liking myself just as I am. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to go into a new year taking the same time we usually take to berate and bemoan ourselves to instead celebrate the things that bring us joy?

What will you do this year that celebrates how wonderful you already are?

Casey is part of the Contributing Writer Network at Thirty On Tap. To apply to become a Contributing Writer, please click HERE.

{featured image via unsplash}