2016 is right around the corner, which means that the tradition of making New Year’s resolutions is at the forefront of a lot of people’s minds. What’s interesting to me is that this year in particular, people are very loudly denouncing them, saying that the new year shouldn’t be considered a new start, and that people should make changes whenever they need or want to.

While I agree with that to some extent, I don’t think that shaming devoted resolution-makers is the right way to go about doing things. Obviously a lot of people don’t stick with their resolutions past the first month or so, hence the stereotype of New Year’s resolutions being meaningless, but quite a few people do find that a new year means a new start. It can be the push a person needs – yes, I could start going to the gym or trying to find a better job or being a kinder person on a Wednesday afternoon in July, but that doesn’t hold quite as much symbolic value as the fresh, new feeling the start of January can bring. It’s like wanting to write something down in a notebook – of course you could write it down on the 3rd page, but there’s something inherently satisfying about opening up at that crisp, clean first page and making the first mark.

We shouldn’t be looking down on people who make those kinds of resolutions – maybe it’s ‘cool’ to not care, cool to make ‘anti-resolutions’ where you go out of your way to start reaching for your goals on a different day, but maybe that won’t help you to achieve them either. Maybe it’s less to do with the date, and more to do with having a positive, determined attitude. In which case, a lot of people publicly shaming makers of New Year’s resolutions might not be in the right state of mind to practice what they preach anyway. So how about we all make a resolution in 2016 – to stop being mean just for the sake of being mean about things that don’t mean anything anyway. I think it could work.

Happy New Year everyone, and I hope you reach all your goals, regardless of what they are and when you make them.