Every year, making resolutions comes with hope and promise; I always feel ready to make a change and switch up my routine.

The beginning of the new year always brings excitement, a sense of refreshment and traditionally, New Year's resolutions. For as long as I can remember, I've made New Year's resolutions — for my health, for my relationships with friends and family, and for my outlook on life. Alyson Johnston

This year, however, I made a different kind of promise: one not to damage my self-esteem by breaking my resolutions. I know I'm not the only one who struggles with keeping resolutions — it's extremely difficult to make the typically drastic changes that come in the form of resolutions as soon as the ball drops.

Every year, making resolutions comes with hope and promise; I always feel ready to make a change and switch up my routine. After a week or so, though, the excitement wears off and I'm left with a resolution that I won't keep.

So this year, I ditched the resolutions. Sure, I still have goals for myself, but I'm choosing to look at them in the long term. I find when I set goals right at the beginning of the year, I feel a pressure to do everything at once. Say I make a resolution to do my homework the night it was assigned and not wait until the night before it's due; I might start off the year by doing that for a few days, but I would likely burnout very quickly.

However, if I wanted to actually follow through and reach my goal, I might do one or two assignments the night they are assigned and then wait until the actual due date for the rest. This way it's like I'm testing the waters and slowly getting used to this new habit instead of drastically changing my ways.

I think this applies to every goal we make for ourselves; quitting or starting anything all at once can be extremely difficult.

A few months ago, I decided I wanted to quit sugar, so I tried completely stopping it. That went about as well as you would expect.

Once I rethought that decision, I began to slowly cut sugar out of my diet. It was so much easier! I just needed to ease my way into it. I think that same logic can be applied to our New Year's resolutions.

Making resolutions and setting goals for yourself is great — it gives you something to work toward and be dedicated to. Putting all the pressure on doing it Jan. 1, though, can deter you from reaching your goal.

Many people use the phrase "new year, new me" to describe their outlook on the upcoming year. I think that's a good goal to have — starting the year off by trying to better yourself is something to be proud of. If you don't reach your resolutions, though, don't let that deter you from making other goals for yourself.

"New year, new you" — try something new in 2019 and don't put so much pressure on yourself to meet your resolutions in only one day. Give yourself grace to be human and make mistakes and learn and grow: that's more than any resolution can do.

Alyson Johnston is a junior at Wilsonville High School.

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