Everyone has had that year where they say “New year, new me!” and claim to follow some random goal like “I’ll exercise more” or “I’ll eat healthier” but then immediately give up a week into the new year. So what’s the point? Are you just unable to improve? Are these good expectations to have?
Well, first off, self-improvement is a very important value to hold in your life. It can be a slippery slope when you decide to change parts of your life, and something dangerous that can happen, whether conscious about it or not, is creating unrealistic expectations and an unhealthy grinding mindset that will lead you to disappointment if unfulfilled. That sort of mentality will destroy your feeling of self-worth and may seem like it’s impossible to change yourself. So how does one do it?
Well, from what I’ve learned, it essentially boils down to a few main things – logic, rationality and a level of groundedness, and the commitment and dedication to follow through.
It doesn’t help to be vague about your goals. If all you want is to “eat healthier” or “exercise more,” then instead of just saying it and then doing nothing to actually improve yourself, set the bar lower! It may seem degrading to yourself, but change doesn’t happen overnight! Start slowly instead – begin to create hobbies like cutting out some of the sugar you eat or caffeine you drink, or doing a light jog around your neighborhood or the park. Don’t just immediately fall into the, “Yes, I can do this and get the ideal body or ideal health I want instantly!” trap, be realistic about it.
Commitment and dedication can be hard, I understand that. But you gotta take it in baby steps. If you mess up, don’t just give up! Start over, evaluate your choices, and begin again. That’s how real progress is made (Side note: This may also help you realize how much of a hole you’ve dug for yourself, and in that case don’t be afraid to confide in others for help!).
It may seem like you’ll never be satisfied with yourself, and you can always seek to improve more. You have to settle for what is achievable at the moment, and what you can physically and mentally tolerate.
I know this topic can vary for a lot of people, and motivation can feel lackluster, but overall it is a positive thing you want to strive for, and it’s what you deserve! A great video that may help you stay on track is from the channel Jaiden Animations, “Being the Best/Worst Ever.” Let 2023 be a good year for you! We’re rooting for you!
By Ezan Charo, Junior, ChiArts