Every year, I try to come up with a New Year’s resolution. Every year, I run through a list of ideas: get better grades, keep my room clean, exercise more, fight with my sister less. Every year, I settle on the same one: be a better person. It seems fitting, all-encompassing, covering every concern I have. But what really does it mean to be a better person? Does it mean being nicer, neater, more thoughtful? Does it mean not eating that last piece of cake? Turning all of my assignments in on time?
This is the problem with my resolution to “become a better person.” It’s not really possible. I can clean my room in January and claim that I’ve been a better person for the year, or I can wait until December 31, give my mom a hug, and call it a day. There’s no right answer and far too many cop-outs. I do try to be mindful year-round; I really do make an effort to be a decent human being. I hold open doors, I say “please” and “thank you,” I try not to lie. But I’m not perfect. No one is. I’m a teenage girl, which means I’m messy and thoughtless and moody and stay up too late on school nights because I watch How I Met Your Mother instead of doing my homework. To me, trying to be a better person doesn’t mean being perfect; it means holding myself to slightly higher standards and changing the little things one at a time. If I remember to put away my laundry in 2016, that’s better than I’m doing now.
I always forget my resolutions by January 2, anyway.