Screen Shot 2014-01-04 at 1.32.39 PMIt’s safe to say that if you’re a human between the ages of 18 to 65 with a Facebook account, your friends’ New Years Resolutions have been popping up on your news feed from the moment the ball dropped.

Some hope to cut back on their vino intake, others are trying to become more domestic, and, if you’re like me, tons of your pals are eager to get healthier and slimmer by hitting the gym in 2014.

But not without some other asshole complaining about it…

It never fails: everyone’s got that one friend who feels the need to publicly shame the people who will “take over the gym for a month,” by posting a rude Facebook status or tweet.

Can’t wait for the gym equipment I use EVERY DAY to be taken over by people who will just waste space and quit working out by the end of the month. Happy 2014 to me. Not.

Every year, I see posts like that, find myself annoyed and keep scrolling through my news feed without saying a peep. But this year, I was delightfully surprised when I saw that one of my dear friends actually stood up to the haters and called them out, right there on her Facebook wall for the world to see.

This is what her message read:

Before the onslaught of Facebook statuses filled with complaints of resolutioners crowding “your” gym, but “they’ll be gone by March anyway,” I’d like to offer my two cents. Maybe instead of tearing one another down, we should try building one another up. If people are resolving to live healthier, THAT IS A GREAT THING!! Now, imagine that some of your friends & family are resolving to live healthier (they probably are). They log onto Facebook, and the first thing they see is your status about how they will probably quit. How you don’t believe in them. How they can’t do it. You might not mean it personally, but they will take it personally. Just something to consider! (steps off soapbox).

I hit “like,” and vowed that the next time I saw a status like the one my pal was referring to, I would unfriend whoever wrote it and rid my life of their pessimism. After all, she was right. There’s no need to give other people a reason to doubt themselves or feel bad about wanting to live a healthier life. But then I realized that deleting those Negative Nancies from my news feed wouldn’t do much for the resolutioners who’ve already seen, and in turn, felt defeated, by such comments. So now, for every  comment I see putting down a resolution, I will share a positive one — even if it means writing something as small as, “Good luck! I’ll be rooting for you!”

At the end of the day, whether we publicly declare them or not, we all have resolutions: to make more money, find a soul mate, lose the baby weight, land that dream job, achieve inner peace, start a project, be happy, and so on. Those resolutions— even the tiniest ones— are what keep us going, giving us the motivation to step out of bed every morning and face the world. And behind every single resolution lies hope.

So instead of writing “LOL good luck” when your friend vows to stop drinking, or mocking the people who want to get healthy so they can live longer, happier lives with the ones they love, encourage them. Offer to help a stranger with unfamiliar gym equipment, be your boyfriend’s running partner, send confidence-boosting emails to your mom, and heighten their desire to try a new approach to living, rather than squashing it.

And the next time someone bitches about how you’re using “their” treadmill at the gym, I dare you to ask them how THEY got there. Let me guess … it started by walking into the gym.

The Frisky

This post originally appeared on The Frisky. Republished with permission.

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