New year’s resolutions are pretentious.

Cancel new year’s resolutions. Defund them.

ebelechukwu monye
3 min readDec 30, 2022


Photo by Pawel Czerwinski on Unsplash

I’ve never been a fan of new year’s resolutions because they seem a bit pretentious. It’s like that one opportunity in the year where you must carefully list things you think your reverend, pastor, or parents would be proud of. Secondly, I also lowkey like rebelling.

Instead of new year resolutions, I’ve devised two systems that I hope can help me become a better version of myself each year. The first starts in September, and the second begins somewhere toward the end of November/beginning of December. My September resolutions coincide with my birthday.

I’ve also tried to practice a few quiet resolutions lately. These are resolutions I make to myself in my head, journal, or in a quiet place. I think that the way the world is currently structured, people don’t believe you can do great work unless you flaunt it. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against people flaunting their work; however, sometimes I feel it eats into my focus time, and it opens room for external pressure and an unhealthy reliance on external validation. And so, initially, as I got into the career phase of my life, I struggled because colleagues and friends would show what they were working on while I’d banter endlessly about Osita Osadebe or Oliver de Coque.

My birthday resolutions have always been subtle yet powerful. For instance, at 26, I understood that good and bad things could co-exist, and I was responsible for my life. Most importantly, I decided to make peace with the things I did not receive, knowing that I had put in my best.

I decide on these things based on what’s going on in my life or how I am feeling (e.g., based on what I’ve struggled most with physically or mentally) and take daily steps toward becoming a better version of me. Some days it is hard, but here we are, still meuving.

I also make sure that my resolutions are simple and practical. Remember when I said new year’s resolutions were pretentious? It’s also because, many times, it feels like the promises are too big to be true. A good example was in 2012 when I resolved to make all As in Senior WAEC (L.M.A.O). So keep it simple and practical, go at your pace, and remember that, especially for quiet resolutions, accountability is non-negotiable.

The change I’m working on as this year draws to an end is tracking my expenses and budgeting. My sisters and friends have been trying to get me to do this for years. I started earlier in December so I’ll have a three-week trial period by January. It should also become a part of my daily routine by then (hopefully lmao).

Finally, a year from now, I’ll write a response to this, and we will see how this finance tracker has done. I have also written and saved my quiet resolutions from my last birthday (27 — September 2022). To create that extra layer of focus I talked about, I’ll share this in retrospect a year from now to see what lessons I’ve learned and how I have changed. Until then, remember that new year’s resolutions are pretentious, and you can start now!