Observations & meditations on modern life

New Year, New Me?

Pretty much every therapist and mental health advocate is currently posting about how this “New Year, New Me” concept can be a struggle for some, unnecessary for others, and a societal construct that doesn’t really need to exist. I agree with them all, but as with most things, I’m really interested in the “why” behind it.

Contrary to popular belief, I do believe that there is SOME value in being able to set up some personal goals and aspirations at the turn of a year, let alone the turn of a decade that we’ve just had. It has got absolutely nothing to do with the date, but the fact that we are strongest when connecting with other people. It takes a lot of self motivation and discipline to have a “fresh start” whenever you need them. Sometimes we don’t realise we need one, sometimes we realise we need one and don’t quite understand how to “do” it. However, when everyone decides to make a few adjustments in their lives, and change seems to be in the air, it sometimes does make it a lot easier.

But none of us need a “new me”. We are our aspirations just as much as we are our flaws. We are the cracks in our foundations just as much as we are the glue that holds us together. The fact that the New Year, in many cases, can make it easier to tweak the trajectory that we are on doesn’t negate the fact that there are still undoubtedly going to be bumps in the road ahead of us.

So no, I don’t do the whole “New Year, New Me” thing. But I do think that the new year gives me a bit of a push in the right direction, quite simply because there is a degree to which we all sit around and ponder the past and dream about the future and there really can be value in that when we do it in a healthy way rather than in a hurtful way (see my post ‘Let’s talk about intention’ for more on the difference).

Don’t try and cut away the past entirely, it’s not going to work. Don’t try and be a different person this year, that’s not going to work either. Be you. Be the best you. Allow the New Year “hype” to wash over you and take from it if you need, or let it be for others if you don’t.

Posted on Friday, January 3, 2020
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Anjali Singh-Mitter | BA (Hons.), Dip. Hyp., Dip. CBT | GHR & GHSC, CNHC
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