I’m Not Writing New Year’s Resolutions For 2017 And You Shouldn’t Either



Every year during this time, I share my goals for the upcoming year.

I have had goals to be more discerning and recognizing my own worth. I have had goals to focus on me and care less about the drama from others. Those were just the ones I shared. I also had writing goals, weight loss goals, publishing goals, and so many other things. To be honest, I didn’t achieve most of them. This year, I’m not making any goals. Trust me, my logic is sound.

Part of the issue I continue to have with making and keeping New Year’s resolutions or annual goals or whatever people choose to call them is that they set arbitrary standards against which I end up measuring myself the entire year. If I lose weight, it’s never enough unless it’s my goal weight loss. If I publish something, it isn’t important unless it’s in my top magazine.

Rather than motivating me to be a better version of myself, my goals  – which are always lofty and sometimes unrealistic – leave me feeling like a failure rather than a success. In my constant striving to be what I assume will be the ideal version of me, I don’t actually take stock of the current version of me and how dope she is. Nor do I make space for treating myself gently.

I’m tired of that shit.

I started to notice these issues earlier this year when I found myself saying aloud, “I am not impressed with myself.” The person I was speaking to raised their eyebrows and replied, “Really? How is that possible?”

As I worked through my attempt at answering that question, I realized that I’m rarely proud of myself or able to step back and admire my work because I don’t give myself enough time to reflect on the great things I have done.

At this point, I’m realizing that the main reason why I don’t accomplish so many of my goals is because I spend so much time focusing on how to achieve them, what steps need to be taken, who to email, what to say, where to go, how much money to spend, (insert other distraction here), that I don’t spend any time centering myself or making me and my happiness the priority. What’s worse, I become so stressed out and anxious about the goals themselves that I don’t actually enjoy the accomplishments when I do achieve them.


So, this year, I am not writing resolutions. I am not going to put undue pressure on myself or hold myself to standards so narrow that I can’t enjoy the present. Instead, I am going to make 2017 the year of doing what is best for me no matter what that happens to be at any given moment. It may mean doing nothing at all. I am totally okay with that.


You can find my resolutions for 2016 here, here, and here.

You can find my resolutions for 2015 here, here, and here.

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Jenn M. Jackson

Jenn M. Jackson, PhD is a co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Water Cooler Convos. She is a native of Oakland, CA. Jenn is a radical Black feminist scholar who believes none of us are free until all of us are free.