Honestly the only reaction I have to those memes and posts about how there’s ‘still time’ is well-emphasized profanity, and the only advice I have for people who are bothered by them is to get off social media for a little while.” —Samantha L. 36
3. Not hitting one specific goal shouldn’t negate all the other amazing things you did accomplish along the way.
“I wanted to lose weight, but here I am, still thick! I started going to the gym at the beginning of this year, and I changed a lot of eating habits as well. Those new routines have stuck, but the weight has stuck around too. I could feel bummed about not meeting my goal, but this year brought me so many blessings (a new job, a great relationship, and a new apartment) that I can’t be bothered feeling bad over the pounds that have come along for the ride. So when I see tweets saying that I can still do it, my response is ’Mind your own business.’
No matter what your goals are, January 1 is going to happen, and God willing it will be like any other year. You’ll have 365 more days to accomplish whatever the hell you want to conquer.” —Jana Q.*, 27
4. It’s perfectly okay to reassess your goals rather than rush to accomplish them by some arbitrary date and time.
“This year I was determined to complete the second draft of my novel-in-progress, which essentially meant rewriting a majority of the 300-plus pages I wrote in the years leading up to 2019. Though I knew it was quite an undertaking, and one I was definitely nervous about, I was optimistic.
A few months ago I realized I may have bitten off more than I could chew. Once I was able to let go of the pressure I put on myself, it felt incredibly liberating. I realized I had been holding my breath, waiting to accomplish my goal, and I was able to breathe once I accepted that it wasn’t going to happen in the timeline I set for myself. I’m a little over halfway finished at this point, and I’m proud of myself for accomplishing as much as I did.
I find that we, as a society, put enough pressure on ourselves and don’t need outside forces like social media making the situation worse. Urging people to rush their goals can lead to crappy results, undue stress, or even health issues depending on what one’s goals are. It’s perfectly acceptable to reassess the goals that were set at the beginning of the year and create new priorities for 2020.” —Tina P.*, 30
5. It’s important to honor your own pace instead of comparing your progress to someone else’s.
“My goal for this year was to work out and meditate more. I started the year strong, and then my routine gradually fell apart. I’m in my first year of graduate school, and the workload killed all motivation. To be honest, I stopped doing any kind of working out toward the end of the year, but I feel okay about it. I studied hard and passed the first semester, so it balances out.
Those social media posts do remind me that there are so many goals I’ve made for myself over the years, and I’m not where I want to be yet. But I’ve made a ton of progress, and I am all about going at my own pace. So I’m going to continue to do the best I can to balance my competing priorities and pray it all works out.” —Mali A., 35.
6. It feels really good to say, “It’s just not going to get done this year.” And that’s okay.
“This year I’d hoped to finish creative projects—a few plays and a poetry collection—that have been looming in the background. At the start of the year I was super excited, and that continued throughout the year. I was super motivated at times, and not so motivated at other times.
Somewhere along the line I realized these projects are going to take a while, and that’s perfectly fine. I have other obligations, a job, and an entire family. So it feels terrific to say, ‘It’s not going to get done this year.’ There are only so many hours in the day.
I don’t let the social media posts get to me; I’m indifferent about them, but if they are bothering you, try to remember that you can take as much time as you need. There’s always next year.” —Yani P., 41
*Quotes have been edited for clarity.
Name has been changed upon request.