“This semester, I’ll go to the gym every day and lose 10 pounds.”
“This semester, I’ll get up to a 4.0 GPA.”
“This semester, I’ll have so many adventures that my Tumblr will be envious.”
It’s an annual occurrence. Every autumn, I daydream about my upcoming life changes. A new wardrobe. A fitter body. Tumblr-esque hair. All the incredible places I’ll go explore.
Do you relate?
Every semester, we tell ourselves that we’ll change and improve aspects of our lives, no matter how big or small.
However, let’s be honest.
If I lost 10 lbs. every semester like I planned, not only would I be a non-existent speck of dust, but also miss out on 95 percent of the late nights filled with gossip and pizza that make life so fun.
How often have you set goals, not achieved them, and felt like a “failure”? Only to start again with the same resolutions come the spring semester.
We are constantly told that we need to be reaching for goals and that somehow, our self-worth is hinged on these accomplishments. But as soon as we reach one goal, we’re already looking for the next thing to improve about ourselves.
Achieving objectives is key to success. It allows us to progress in life and figuratively belt out “started from the bottom now we’re here.”
We usually only fail when we set goals that are based on our insecurities. It’s difficult to make personal changes, and it requires a very delicate balance between ambition and self-hatred.
Our self-image should not be that of a work in progress or someone with many flaws to fix. It can be difficult to change our mindset, but we must see ourselves as the amazing people we are today.
No matter how successful we are, there’s always that voice in the back of our minds telling us we could be doing more. That we need to say more, do more, and be more. To lean in or lean out. Break through the glass ceiling or live a perfect “Pinterest” life.
This destructive cycle of always aspiring to be someone we do not rob us of the contentment and confidence that come with simply being ourselves.
So how do we break these “future me” fixations?
The only way is the way you set your mind to it. tell yourself that you are more than enough, and watch as doors of opportunity open for you.
You should create goals for yourself, but don’t make them unattainable. That will only discourage you and is not productive.
In your academic pursuits, take one paper and one test at a time. When you plan fun activities, do so because you want to live in and enjoy the present moment. When you set goals for yourself, do so because you love who you are right now – not just who you hope to become someday – and believe that self-love can only grow more with time.
This article was originally published in The Lala.