Grow at Your Own Pace

Jasmin Linton (she/her) // Contributor
Tiffany Zhong // Illustrator

“‘I don’t see any reason to be optimistic. What do you think the new year will bring us?’
‘I believe it will bring flowers.’
‘Really? Why?’
‘Because I am planting flowers.’”

– José Maria Nieto, Cartoonist

The new year can mean many things for different people. With everything that’s been going on in our society lately, it’s easy to expect the worst – pressures are building and a pessimistic outlook seems to be contagious. However, this time of year is also the beginning of so many possibilities and opportunities. Which side of the coin you are on depends on what kind of attitude you carry. Going into the new year, you may be carrying expectations and pressures from the world around you. Instead of feeling burdened by the new year, start this next chapter with a different outlook, be present in your day to day life and allow yourself to grow…like a flower.

With every new year comes the pressure of making goals and resolutions to set you up for success. Whether it’s to read more, take care of your health, or to stop that habit you’ve been trying to quit – without an insanely strong level of commitment and rigorous time management, resolutions can seem too intimidating to begin, let alone consistently follow through with for another 364 days. Strict schedules or habit trackers don’t work for everyone. To some, they can have the opposite effect.

If such strategies don’t fit, there’s no need to worry. The same method is never going to work for everyone, similar to the way the same size shoe is never going to fit. It’s all about finding out what you feel comfortable with and what is manageable in your life right now. Maybe that means forfeiting resolutions all together and entering the new year without any predetermined must do’s. Or deciding to still make resolutions but only prioritizing one or two main goals to work on. There is no one way to go about entering the new year; it’s about finding what fits best for yourself and what will have the best impact.

That being said, we tend to always focus on the future at this time of year. Our society is driven by the idea that to be accomplished, we must be as productive and proactive as we can. So, of course, planning our futures and trying to better ourselves is a priority. However, because of our concern towards our futures and the security they will hopefully bring, it’s easy to get caught up in work or school and forget about letting yourself breathe and take a rest. 

It is important to have that breathing room, and it can be especially impactful during times of high stress. Your mindset is an important conductor for your motivation; it is important to be aware of the connection and plan accordingly. Feel present going into the new year instead of scrambling to implement goals. Even if you can only manage short breaks throughout the day, I guarantee such a mindset will change not only your outlook, but also attract a plethora of opportunities that you wouldn’t expect.

No one way is correct; we all walk along different paths, therefore we need different things to help us along. The pressures and excitement affects everyone this time of year, so it is no surprise that such things are on everyone’s mind right now. From personal experience, it’s important to feel content and secure going into the new year, whether that includes a long to-do list or none at all. This way we can start off on the right foot, leave room to grow from upcoming experiences and hopefully blossom into the new year.

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