The last year was relentless. From our political circumstances, with the current administration committed to rolling back pro-equality advancements and protections, to the issue of abuse dominating our pop culture discourse, it’s been challenging to find enough time to focus on any given day. And as much as we may have tried or intended, the year probably ended with unfinished business or unmet resolutions for many. Despite Diddy’s privileged Twitter platitudes or that Pinterest quote about us having the same hours in a day as Beyoncé, let’s be clear about one thing above all as we rinse the champagne glasses and recuperate from New Year’s Eve festivities: Everyone does not have the same 24 hours in a day.
For all our love of Beyoncé, for example, we cannot possibly delude ourselves into thinking we can budget our time quite like the Queen. We do not have the disposable income, the hired help, the personal chefs or trainers, or the various other trappings that come with superstardom. It’s impossible to speak meaningfully about achieving goals or, more importantly, about self-care without understanding the different positions and vantage points in which people stand based on their identities, class, and access. As inclined as we are to shame ourselves about last year’s unreached goals, we welcome the idea that New Year’s Day gives us a fresh start and new opportunity.
Whether we’re comparably or less booked-and-busy than Queen Bey or Cardi B, we should focus on the opportunity to recommit ourselves to the time and resources we do have. Contrary to popular belief — and the notion that we need to work harder to be seen as more deserving than the next person — our day job or daily grind should not be our primary commitment. The partner or the kids don’t come first, either. Even the fight for social justice, however we envision or define it, doesn’t come first. It’s actually our commitment to our own wellness and self-affirmation that lays the foundation on which career, family, and resistance can stand. We might find that our personal mission and goals change when wellness becomes top priority or, at least, how we allocate our time will change.
The world and its news cycles won’t slow down. Our responsibilities to work, to family, and to the fight for a better tomorrow are unlikely to go away or even lighten anytime soon. The truth is, however, the only breaks from the constant stimuli and demands of our lives are those we take unapologetically. Whether it’s a social media or MSNBC hiatus, that paid time off we never completely use, a weekend hike that we don’t concern ourselves with capturing perfectly for Instagram, or daily words of self-affirmation in the mirror, taking those breaks for wellness that will make 2019 one of our best years yet. The saying “new year, new me” is cliché and probably among the most mocked, but there’s undeniable hope and potential in even that simple declaration of reclaimed time.
So the best goal is not necessarily “What Would Beyoncé Do?” But instead, it might be on leveling up your vacation plans to include a Bey-inspired boat ride. Resolutions should not be about how the world sees or values you — but rather, how you see and value yourself. Cheers to a Happy New Year.