The New Year’s Resolution Every Millennial Should Make In 2015

Over the past few days, publications around the world have been posting their best-of-2014 roundups. Now, news is in transition, caught between days and years, and headlines make predictions about 2015. It will be the best year ever, writers say, and they share helpful tips so that you are your best you for their best year.

Meanwhile, relatives stalk around the living room, regretting one too many pieces of leftover pie. You look at your gut from the delicious chocolate chip muffins that have served as breakfast for the past week and also feel some remorse. But it’s not enough to keep you from My Favorite Muffin for one last bite before the New Year.

Mom pulls you out of your trance of shame and subsequent muffin daydreams with the all-too-familiar question. “So what are your resolutions?” You’ve been making them since you were a child, and few have ever materialized. But you draft your list all the same, looking forward to another year, hoping for something earthshattering. There’s always the possibility that these will be the 365 days that define you. The ambiguity of it is sexy; so much can happen in an hour, much less 8,765 of them. Think of what could lie around the corner, the surprises to sweep you off your feet. After all, it’s going to be the best year ever, right?

But no matter what 2015 has in store and what you scrawl on that list, you’re still who you are. There’s not going to be a magical transformation like in Cinderella. Your frog isn’t going to become a prince and vice versa. Your environs may change when you move to another city. Your physical appearance may change when you dye your hair. Your pastimes may change when you finally learn to play that instrument. But you–the real you under the city, the hair, and the instrument–will still be you.

And that’s awesome.

We’re taught to look at a new year as a new beginning. It’s poetic, but it’s also escapist. We throw caution to the wind as optimism borders on delusion and self-betterment looks more like self-deprecation. So I dare you: this year, when you look in the mirror and start your long list of resolutions, see the beauty in the beasts. Realize that you’re perfect how you are. Life would be boring if we couldn’t strive for something and try to improve ourselves. But right here, right now, there’s not a hair on your head that should be plucked.

So start thinking about what causes the insecurities that make you so lustfully long for the best year ever. If your S.O. doesn’t adore everything about you, screw ’em (not literally, unless you want to). If your job doesn’t feel fulfilling, find a new one. If you’re exhausted, sleep. If you want to go out but you’ve got deadlines, go out anyway. Throw caution to the wind in a way that doesn’t lead to delusion and disappointment. Don’t use 2015 as a new beginning because you’ve already begun and with every mistake and regrettable decision, you’ve learned something. Thank god for all of the faux pas, the drunken texts, the misplaced trusts. These days, you know better, but you’re still irreplaceable because at your core, you’re the same person from back in 2013, or 2012, or 2011.

Now don’t get apathetic and cancel your New Year’s Eve plans. There’s plenty to celebrate. You’ve survived 365 days of life! Some moments have been hell, others pure bliss. Some bittersweet, others just bitter or sweet. Remember them and appreciate them for their worth. Then pop the champagne and go crazy because you deserve it. When the ball drops in Times Square, kiss someone–anyone–or think of the person you wish you were kissing over everyone else.

The next morning, when you consult your resolutions in a daze, I hope you’ll find the list isn’t too long and that number one reads something like this:

Be yourself. Always. And let yourself breathe.