Life thoughts

Resist New Year, New You

This post originally appears on my professional blog:

Everywhere I look, I see it: the siren call of the new year to cast away the “old” me: to become someone other than myself, to be “new,” improved, different. “New Year, New You!” Headlines proclaim, inviting me to try to revise my entire life to be thinner, healthier, more of everything I’m not.

The truth is, the new year is a time where we all get hyped up on the idea of transformation. There is a hypnotizing power in the concept of revolutionary change — especially change of the self. Imagine revising everything bad about your life in one fell swoop: all your naughty habits, all the things you have wanted to edit for a lifetime. Imagine waking up on January 1 and making a green smoothie, working out, donating to charity, eating all healthy, organic foods — and doing it all year long.


A screenshot of just a few of the New Year, New You images on Google . . .

When you make resolutions, what promises are you making to yourself? Is your intention to change your life? To become someone new? Is it to drastically edit all the things that are making you unhappy or unhealthy or unsatisfied? I’m not saying you shouldn’t want to change the things that make you unhappy, unhealthy, or unsatisfied in life– definitely not. What I’m saying is that you don’t have to change who you are in order to go after your goals, your “resolutions.”

Instead, have it be New Year, New . . . hopes, wishes, expectations, dreams, desires . . . Fill in the blank. If you experience transformative change– awesome! But why does every year have to start with us thinking that there is something wrong with ourselves that requires a total overhaul?


New Year, New way of thinking?

This year, I’m operating with a rule of threes: tomorrow on New Year’s Eve, I’m going to write down at least three things about myself I absolutely do not want to change– things I resolve not to change, things I want to celebrate about who I am and what I love about myself.

On January 1, sit down and reflect on your intentions for 2017. Resolutions before the first of the year always seem silly to me, I don’t know why. Maybe because I spiral during the holidays and do nothing but eat Christmas cookies and egg nog and watch Hallmark Movies (without a trace of shame). Maybe it’s because I know that I’ll always “resolve” to start eating healthier or want to begin a cycle of self-loathing — because I feel like we get set up for that, don’t we? If you turn in the tv close to the first of the year we are inundated with reminders about how we should probably be dieting or eating better or exercising or doing something healthier. And I don’t deny that is an important part of our a good, healthy life, but it’s often packaged in a way that seems to elevate a sense of self-hate and loathing. It doesn’t really set me up for success because I go at it gung ho and by Feb 1 I’m wading in a bucket of fried chicken and a drinking a milk shake. I’m just being honest.

Me at the start of the new year

How I feel most days

So, for my resolutions this year, I’m going to make them attainable and realistic goals. My goal overall for 2017 is being realistic, and I think that having three primary goals can help with being realistic about what you want to attain. Three little goals. Three little resolutions.  Make them something that you can really do. Instead of changing everything, sit down and say what are three goals I can see myself accomplishing realistically.

If you want this year to be the year you want to run a marathon, what are three ways you can build toward that goal? If you want to write a book, what are three things you need to do to get there?

To help you with setting your goals, I’ve made you a free printable you can put in your Bullet Journal or post on your wall or keep wherever you need to help remind you of how awesome you already are and your three goals.



Download the printable here.

Either way, this coming year I encourage you to embrace the idea that YOU are ENOUGH. You are awesome and capable of great things, and this year can be your year if you want it to be!

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