There are two types of people in this world: those that believe in making new year’s resolutions and those that don’t.

While I am in the latter category, I strongly believe in change and setting goals; I just don’t believe in making them only during the New Year season.

The resolutions that come with each new year tend to be postponed goals that could’ve been made earlier in the past year. Why is it that people wait till the new year to start making changes in their life? New Year’s Day shouldn’t be a time to focus on what we need to change. Rather, it should be a time to reflect gratefully on the past year to help us grow in the next one.

A resolution can be defined as a firm decision to do or not do something. Understandably, the term “resolution” can be misleading, since we tend to use it only around the new year. But really, resolutions are the same as goals, and goals are something that should be made throughout the entire year. Resolutions to eat healthier, exercise every day, study harder in school, travel more, etcetera can be easily attained at any time throughout the year.

[one_third] It’s healthier to enter the new year with an outlook of gratitude rather than regret.[/one_third]

I think the reason some people only decide to initiate positive change during the new year is because it’s the only time they reflect on their past. When they do reflect, they tend to focus on the negative parts of their year rather than realize the blessings and positive choices they made. New Year’s should be a time of positive reflection on the past and the continuation of present goals. It’s healthier to enter the new year with an outlook of gratitude rather than regret. By choosing to live with gratitude, one can build up from the choices he or she made from the previous year, rather than rather than start from scratch. We should give ourselves more credit for our past accomplishments and choices. We shouldn’t enter the year thinking, “Why didn’t I do this?” but instead say “I’m glad I made this choice.”

Going into 2015, I made the decision to set goals throughout the year whenever I saw a need for them. I decided to work out more for paddling season, to spend more quality time with friends, do something productive every day, and to pray every day as I drove to school or practice. As 2016 approached, I looked back at 2015 without regret and with gladness that I decided to make small changes throughout the year rather than wait till January 1. Over time, these changes became healthy habits. Resolutions need time and practice to become routine, which is why it’s best to start on your resolutions as soon as you think of them.

I’ll continue into my last year of high school with the same goals I had before, while still being open to change and improvement when the time comes. With that said, you will never hear me use the phrase “new year, new me.”