You stumble into your apartment at 2 am on January 1st, still slightly drunk from the celebration the night before. You slump onto the couch, dismayed to realize that nothing’s changed. You feel the same as you always have, even though you promised yourself that in 2018, everything would change for you. No more failed relationships. No more emotional baggage. No more crummy job.
Yet here you are, curled up on the sofa on January 1st, 2018 at 2 in the morning, drunkenly wallowing in your string of short-lived relationships, the pain you’ve held in for the past 20 years, and the 9-5 job with the overly chatty cubicle mate and the salary that’s barely enough to pay the bills.
This isn’t how it’s supposed to go, right? You’re supposed to enter the new year happy and healthy, with a loving relationship and a fulfilling job. You’re supposed to become your best self the moment the clock strikes midnight on January 1st. You’re supposed to have all of the garbage you went through in 2017 magically absolved from your life. You’re supposed to immediately step into the life of your dreams.
Maybe in a fairytale. In 2018, it’s time to face the harsh reality of new beginnings.
2018 will only change your life if you do.
In 2018, you have to be willing to better yourself, to dedicate yourself to building the life of your dreams. Without resolving to change yourself this new year, your life will stagnate, and as 2019 arrives, you will find yourself enveloped in the same problems you’ve refused to solve for years. In 2018, work to become the best version of yourself. Work to give yourself the life you deserve. Work.
If you’re searching for a stable, loving relationship, commit to self-examination this coming year. Recognize that your fear of commitment is preventing you from experiencing the longevity you crave. Understand that your fear of intimacy is cutting ties with your partners and holding you back from the love you deserve. Know that having a “type” is trapping you in a set of love interests that may be wrong for you and is also preventing you from expanding your worldview. Resolve to meet people who love you wholeheartedly and challenge you to overcome your fears. In 2018, work on committing yourself to love, to intimacy, and your love life will blossom in ways you’ve never dreamed possible.
If you’re seeking an end to your emotional distress, commit to finding happiness this coming year. Reignite the spark for the passions you’ve left behind. Engage with nature, music, and the arts. Do whatever makes you smile. Grow closer to the people who uplift you and cut toxic friends out of your life. In the midst of your overwhelm, prioritize searching for the help you deserve. In 2018, work on creating your own happiness, and your world will once again become light and joyous.
If you’re longing for a new career, commit to paving the way for a brighter future this coming year. Discover what fulfills you, what would fill that void in your professional life, and begin to seek it out. Take inventory of your current skill set, then commit to developing the skills you need for your dream career. Apply to jobs in your desired field, even if they seem far out of your reach. Work on coping with rejections, and strive for self-improvement instead of giving up at the first sign of failure. In 2018, work on pursuing the career of your dreams, and your professional life will flourish with exciting, new opportunities.
In 2018, work to transform your monotonous life into the life of your dreams. On January 1st, as you find yourself drunkenly crying on the sofa at 2 am, wishing for a more fulfilling life, remember that 2018 will only change your life if you do.
*Previously published by Thought Catalog at www.thoughtcatalog.com.