It’s the end of the year, which can only mean one thing: decked-out halls, demoralizing heating bills, and the uncontrollable urge to fix every minuscule thing that’s wrong with your life in one fell swoop. Admittedly, that was three things. But we’re only focusing on the last one here.

December’s end means new beginnings are right around the corner, and it’s a natural time to think about the many ways you can reboot yourself in the new year—often by agonizing over all the things that went sideways this year.

Self-improvement is a hot topic during the holidays, be it about your physical health, emotional well-being, career aspirations, love life, or everyday habits. This is a time when you resolve to get better. To keep improving by taking a giant step toward perfection. To know with certainty that if you successfully meditate for fifteen minutes every day, you will achieve absolute enlightenment by December 31st, 2023. But I’m gonna let you in on a dirty little secret:

It’s a trap.

Yes, self-improvement is an emotional bear trap just waiting to snap its metaphorical metal teeth into your emotional ankles, for two reasons. First, it’s based around an endgame that’s about as unlikely as Jim Carrey winning an Oscar: that someday, if you keep improving your mindset and commit to flossing, you’ll become a perfect human. Not only is it an impossible goal, it’s a boring one. Your flaws are what distinguish you from everyone else. A flaw is like that single, glorious onion ring hiding in a bag of French fries—a welcome dose of variety.

Second, you don’t actually need to get better. You will never achieve “enoughness” if you refuse to realize that you’re already enough. You are already everything the world needs you to be. Anything you achieve from here is just a bonus, and a pretty great one at that. You don’t need to improve. You simply want to evolve. Because standing still is as dull as perfection, and as pointless as hoping for a bag of fries without a random onion ring in it.

Now that we have an understanding that ‘tis the season to evolve and not improve, let us go forth and set small, achievable goals for ourselves to take those first steps onto the thrillingly unpredictable path that is 2023. Because there is nothing more noble than embracing your personal evolution and lacing up those metaphorical hiking boots. Or real hiking boots, if that’s something you’d like to do more of next year.

Here are some creators and influencers who inspire me to dig deep and make changes that will make my life experience better.

Anna Akana

Anna is an actor, musician, and creator with a popular YouTube channel and screen credits that include Blade of the 47 Ronin and A Million Little Things. She speaks candidly of challenges and revelations from her own mental health journey, while giving practical steps and things to look out for in your own life. Her delivery is both straightforward and often very clever. It’s like talking to an honest, open friend who wants you to avoid the same mistakes she’s made.

James Clear

James is well-known for being the king of habits. His bestselling book Atomic Habits breaks down the science of how we can make the leap from zero to fully-formed healthy habit with the overarching concept that it’s not so much a leap as it is a series of teensy hops. His exhaustive research shows that small steps today can mean big life changes tomorrow. James hasn’t built a habit of producing his own podcast, but he regularly appears on other smart people’s shows like Ten Percent Happier, The Science of Success, and Journey to Launch.

Dr. Laurie Santos

On Dr. Santos’ podcast The Happiness Lab, she dives deep with guests to break down the many things that contribute to our happiness (or lack thereof) in life. Covering topics like where you live, the struggle of making friends as an adult, and even how our sonic environment can affect mood, her podcast combines tips from a Professor of Psychology with real-life stories from guests that will give you plenty to think about when increasing the happy in your life.

Mark Rober

Self-care isn’t just about eating better and hitting the rock wall thrice a week. It’s also about learning new skills and finding ways to be of service to others. And if someone ever told YouTube icon Mark Rober that these things can’t also be really fun, he never got the memo. Mark is a former NASA engineer with a palpable passion for learning and pushing creative boundaries. Instead of a stuffy classroom, he shares this passion through squirrel obstacle courses, world-record toothpaste explosions, and his infamous holiday glitter bomb, often raising impressive amounts of funds for good causes along the way. How can you not be inspired to start creating something cool?