A new day, a new me?

Yejean Kim

While everyone was on their fun and flirty vacations over winter break, I sat around at home with my dog. Frankly that was pretty enjoyable in and of itself, but the last week before I returned to Lexington I saw an ugly series of events that I’ve been trying very hard to forget since.

I speak, of course, of a donut kick.

A donut kick is when you feel an insatiable urge to have a donut all the time. Fortunately for the sweet elderly Vietnamese couple that runs the donut shop down the street, I succumbed every day, and I didn’t even have to pay for them myself—my sweets-loving mother very sweetly footed the bill every day. However, unlike my mother, who manages to stay a lithe size four just by walking our dog every day, this donut habit very quickly left me looking like a donut myself.

Now, as I try to get back on track—and stave off adult diabetes—I often ponder (usually during a brutal round of core-strengthening exercises) how I let myself get so gross. I’ve come to realize that one of the main reasons was New Year’s resolutions.

I don’t mean I failed to keep some bizarre anti-donut resolution I made back in 2015. Rather, I’m referring to the overarching attitude of “new year, new me.” As I indulged in those donuts I reassured myself that it was okay, because I could just start working out after the New Year. My younger brother, in one of the more creative anti-gym excuses I’ve heard, declared that he wouldn’t go to the gym until at least mid-February— because apparently that’s when “the New Year’s resolutions people” will have given up. Clearly logic doesn’t run in the family.

If I take a step back and try to think logically, there’s no sense in waiting until a certain time of year, or even a single second really, to start trying to self-improve. And resolutions aren’t always about self-improvement either—there are people who simply want to make a fresh start. But why should we have to wait until the New Year to do those things, or even just resolve to do them?

In “The Truth about Goals,” Forbes reported on a meta-analysis that found that setting specific, difficult goals was the most helpful to enhancing performance. Oddly enough, the study didn’t examine the goals made at a bar under the influence of Moët & Chandon while in a sequined jumpsuit. In short, New Year’s resolutions shouldn’t have as much of an influence on goal-setting and self-improvement as they seem to now.

In light of these thoughts, I’ve made my last New Year’s resolution: I will live every day like it’s New Year’s Day. And no, I don’t mean I will wear sunglasses indoors while I eat pierogis and swear off drinking forever. I mean that I want to have that undying optimism—the belief that I can improve myself, and most importantly, the desire to do so. New day, new me.