I tend to approach the New Year and new beginnings with optimism, but that is completely baseless considering the lack of past successes I have had. Yet I annually hope and try to be better.
I always hold the naive notion that this year will be different, despite all my previous failures. Whether my resolution is to eat better, pick up a new hobby, or just be kinder to myself and others, I always feel so dismayed when, three weeks into January, I do something that breaks the cycle of positive progress that I was making.
I attempt to start again and keep a new streak of self-growth going, but once my perfectionist mind fails, it never lets me live that failure down. By the end of February, the hopes I had for the future are solidified in my mind as completely dead.
Yet come next January, my dreams are miraculously resurrected. I formulate new, more complex plans and trick myself into thinking that this year, like last year and the year before that, will be my time.
I am not attempting to say there is no point in seeking to better oneself. I’d like to think that there is a point or purpose, but just like any goal or dream, the process of achieving it is a lot easier in your head. As much as you can prepare for the potential pushbacks, aggravations, and difficulties along the way, there will always be times where you fail.
The dreams you seek out, whether they are New Year’s Resolutions or not, will always be Sisyphean at their cores. Like Sisyphus, we all have goals seemingly in reach that we repeatedly fail to achieve. You will never be able to love yourself all the time, or always resist the crave of a cigarette when you’re stressed, or avoid biting your nails when you are nervous. That is okay.
The realization that you are going to fail sometimes and let yourself down can be liberating. Keeping this realization in mind allows people to be kinder to themselves and continue pushing forward. Just because there will be struggles, does not mean there won’t be victories. It is a lesson that I will be taking into the New Year, and with it in mind, I might just have some success.