In the case of New Year’s resolutions, I believe you can.
One can hardly hear the phrase “New Year’s resolution” without immediately calling to mind body image. January issues of magazines blare their neon headlines all about the weight you can lose this year, the people who have done it, and how you can do it to. Blog posts about how to stick to your diet this year crop up like swarm of locusts, invading every newsfeed.
The time reserved for evaluating the kind of person we would like to be in the upcoming year has become distinctly body-specific.
Which is why I am resolving to stay the same. I know that sounds rather counter intuitive within the context of a movement in which change is the banner idea, but in the face of a world that is happy to convince you that you are not enough, it’s brave to say that you like exactly who you already are.
I am not faultless or without bad habits. There are other kinds of non-body-centric resolutions I could make that might improve me as a person, but not this year. This is the year for declaring that I am awesome without a single ounce of ego involved.
Why? Because I spent a lot of time in the past undermining myself. I spent so much time criticizing my body and saying terrible things to it that I began to believe that my appearance said more about me than my words or actions ever would.
And I wasn’t raised that way. I’m proud and thankful to be one of the girls in America who was raised by parents who put value in my intellect and my kindness over beauty. The books I read, the classes I took, the volunteering I did, and the opinions and values that grew from those experiences were what my parents took stock in when evaluating who they were helping their child to become.
I let the voices of the world drown all that out. I gobbled up magazines that promised happiness in being smaller and chewed through books by famous people who spoke more about their diets than their passions.
I want more of us to make resolutions that speak to the core of what truly fulfills us as human beings.
I detail my exact resolutions in my New Year’s Resolutions post on my blog The Joyful Pen.
But the takeaway I wish you to carry off into the blank page of a new year, is that it’s okay to say that who you are, and where you are in your life right now, is more than enough.
It’s okay to believe that you are awesome just as you are, no additional changes required.
Casey Rose Frank is a blogger, fiction writer, and contributing writer to the Syracuse Post Standard. She has experienced great personal change through the Circles of Change community. She believes in the importance of adventures, both great and small.