The Absurdity of the New Year + Resolutions

A Fresh Start | French Californian

Even though the calendar is just a construct humans created to try and give themselves a sense of control over passing time, the new year is here, and to many of us, it means something. On one hand, any moment of any day is worthy of starting something new, but on the other hand, it just so happened that our move out of France and into America perfectly coincided with the start of 2017.

I don’t fully believe in New Year’s Resolutions. In fact, Facebook recently reminded me of a “memory” from the start of 2014 when I declared, “My New Year’s Resolution is to not have a New Year’s Resolution.” The contradiction in that statement highlights the ridiculousness of thinking that the start of a new calendar somehow has power. It doesn’t have any power (unless of course you believe that the movements of the solar system makes a difference). What really has the power is you – but that power can theoretically be accessed at any time. If you want to create your own way of organizing time, with 4-day-long weeks, 12-day-long months and 10-month-long years, then you can do that. You can then assume that every 4 days is the start of a fresh new week, it’s like your own personal Monday, a chance to begin new tasks and set new goals for the next 3 remaining days of your week. It’s just a system.

But, the more I thought about all this, the more I realized that setting goals for yourself is necessary if you want to live a full life. If you just walk around like a zombie, never actually thinking about what you really want in life, nothing will ever happen to you, you’ll never improve.

So how can I simultaneously reject the concept of Resolutions and yet still make some? Well, I looked up the difference between Existentialism, Nihilism, and Absurdism, and I think the last one pretty much “solves” my dilemma:

Absurdism: “The belief that a search for meaning is inherently in conflict with the actual lack of meaning, but that one should both accept this and simultaneously rebel against it by embracing what life has to offer.” source


A Fresh Start | French Californian

So – The start of the new year has no real meaning or power on its own, but I’m going to set some goals for myself to accomplish in the next 353 days or so anyway, because what else am I to do in this life? ;)

  • This one is obvious and so cliché I almost don’t want to write it… Get Healthy.
  • Accept my physical form
  • Focus on buying/consuming non-toxic products and foods
  • Buy way less “fast fashion”
  • Prioritize skincare over makeup
  • Explore new places around California
  • Get outdoorsy at least once a month
  • Read at least 10 books
  • Embroider at least 3 things

To sum it all up, I want my new life in California to be filled with more whole, meaningful things. More health, more quality, more hobbies and exploration. Less mindless internet browsing, less temporary fixes. Quality over quantity, experiences over possessions… and all those other wonderfully quotable platitudes.

I'm a Californian in my mid-twenties who studied Art History and lived in France for 3 years. I blog honestly about my travels, share my thoughts on life, and get poetic about art and photography. I also sell prints of my photographs on Etsy.


  1. Reply
    Katie Coullandreau

    I love this post! I haven’t yet made my New Years resolutions, but you’ve just inspired me to do it. I love your resolution of buying non-toxic food… it’s not easy to do or find good food with quality ingredients.. simple ingredients.. but it’s important and worth the effort. And also, I really like the goal of prioritizing skincare over makeup. Instead of us women “covering ourselves up,” we can make sure our skin is the healthiest it can be while also working on the confidence it takes to wear less makeup. Great post!! Bonne année!

    1. Reply
      Hannah Wilson Post author

      Thanks Katie! In Southern California, thankfully, it is a lot easier to find non-toxic foods. People here are more health-conscious when it comes to things like GMOs, organic, paraben-free, fresh fruit and veg, juicing, good bacteria to promote gut health… and the list goes on! It’s upsetting though that a lot of that stuff is more expensive. I’m thankful that I’m able to spend a bit extra money on it, but I know others can’t. As for makeup, I just realized one day that I really hate putting on makeup day in and day out, and especially the process of taking it off at the end of the day! It’s tedious and I don’t get any joy from it. So I’m getting over myself and the delusion that I somehow look completely different with a thin layer of foundation on, and going makeup-free more often than I ever have before. Bonne année ma chère amie!

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