“New year, still me. Old me” – This has been a motto when February hits each year.
With every passing day, the enthusiasm and optimism of the New Year seem to fade. Doubt and concern make their way into daily life. It seems rather impossible to change anything around and, more importantly, to change oneself.
The world doesn’t seem such a lovely place anymore. A sense of helplessness overcomes me.
Every year, I make a promise to myself to change. I promise myself I will be better, and I will do better.
Yet, I don’t see any change in the end. Doing what is comfortable, familiar, and easy is what I end up doing—year after year.
But what if…what if for just one year I try something different?
What if…I get my objectives straight?
I noticed many of the goals I had in the past still needed to be achieved. Most of the time, a lack of motivation is to blame. But instead of blaming it on my motivation, why not blame it on the poor choice of goals?
Many of my goals didn’t come from me. The people closest to me influenced them. Their goals became my goals.
Society influenced them. I want to achieve whatever people on social media achieve. Even though, deep down, I know I wouldn’t be happy. And even though, many times, what I get to see is a staged performance.
Having my objectives straight would allow me to achieve what I know will make me happy and fulfilled. I just need to sit down and think about what I want.
What if…I face my fears?
I am aware of how fears are a natural part of human nature. If it weren’t for the ability to feel fear, probably humans wouldn’t have survived for so long. And I wouldn’t be here either as a result.
And while fear helps us live longer, it also impacts the quality of life. It stops me from trying out new things because I don’t want to be seen failing. I don’t want to look foolish doing something I am not good at. But how will I ever be good at it if I never practice?
Facing my fear will be painful. Yet, I commit this year to do at least one thing I fear. Just one. And if I survive, I will face another one.
What if…I stay curious?
As a kid, I asked my parents thousands of questions a day. I wanted to know why things are the way they are.
Now, as a young adult, I barely ask any questions. What happened here? Why did I stop being curious about the world? About myself?
If I only sought out one opportunity, I might just change my current life’s path.
Seeking to understand will allow me to connect with more people and see the vivid colors they carry in their hearts.
And most importantly, I would connect with myself more. I can’t remember when it was the last time I did.
What if…I lift myself up?
I am the most supportive friend out there. I show up to important life events of my friends.
And if they happen to shed a tear, I will drop everything I am doing to help them cheer up.
But when I shed a tear? I make sure to make myself cry even more. None of my achievements ever feel like “achievements.” There is always someone who could have done it better.
When I feel it, I tell myself, “I knew it. I knew I wouldn’t make it.” For some reason, I like dragging myself down like no other.
However, I said I wanted to be more curious. So, why not, for once, think I am great? Why would this feeling be reserved for a selected few?
I don’t want time to pass and look back just to realize how wonderful I was. I want in 2024 to realize it.
What if…I contribute to others?
An act of kindness goes a long way, right? What if, in 2024, I contribute to others to improve my community. I could be volunteering and advocating.
I am worried about not being able to find time to do it. I always give this excuse. It’s an excuse as I pick up my phone and see that I spent daily hours on it.
That mindless scrolling could have been replaced with mindful work. It could have been replaced with one-in-a-lifetime experiences that allow people around me to grow while improving myself at the same time.
What if…I stop waiting? And start taking action. One action is enough to keep it going.
What if I stopped wondering, “What if?” and made 2024 my year.
— the mind of any 20-something-year-old