New Year, Better You
The phrase “New Year New Me” is inherently flawed because it presupposes that you as an individualistic human being need to completely change who you were from before.
Once the dust has settled and all frivolities have ceased, you’re faced with the cold harsh reality of The New Year. Adults go back to work, and kids go back to school. For a brief shining moment, we were hopefully able to relax with friends, family, loved ones & significant others. Now we’re back to our regular old routine. It’s as if that end-of-year-break was some long-extended fever-dream fantasy. One that we sometimes wish we could cling to far longer. At the start of January, many people who haven’t stepped foot inside a gym will vow to lose “all that weight”. And some may go for a spell, but it almost never lasts. We tend to fall back into the same patterns as we did the year before. Why is that? I think it’s because we need to retrain our line of thinking.
The phrase “New Year New Me” gets bandied about as if it’s an infinite resource, but how often does that truly apply? One might suppose that you could change your clothes to be more stylish or get a new haircut in some form of metaphorical act of punk-rock anarchy, so as to “remove the baggage from the previous twelve months”. The new clothes you buy will assuredly fade with time and popularity. Your hair will (in some if not most cases) grow back to where it was before. The phrase “New Year New Me” is inherently flawed because it presupposes that you as an individualistic human being need to completely change who you were from before. That at its very core, is troublesome. By saying at the start of January you’re going to change yourself from the ground up, means you’re going to be a completely unrecognizable person by the end of the twelve calendar rotations. How would your loved ones and your support system feel if they couldn’t ever tell who you were once we’ve fully rotated our rock around The Sun? I think we need to do a bit of a soft edit to that key phrase. Let’s change it to “New Year Better Me”. Just a simple adjustment and already you’re in a better headspace. Becoming “A New You” is so much work on its own. Even those three words clumped together sound absolutely exhausting. Having to become a completely different person ultimately changes nothing. Becoming “A Better You” means that you on some degree like who you were and still are, but you’re also aware that you’re not angelically perfect. No one is. By that slight alteration, you’ve also removed a large amount of unnecessary pressure. You’re no longer removing yourself from your roots. You’re just being more attentive in the watering. The last couple of years have been hard on all of us. The world seems to be simultaneously closer and farther apart than it’s ever been. Despite Planet Earth being at its seemingly most contradictory, it’s important for us to look back on how each of us have done during this most trying time. We may not have accomplished everything we wanted to, but we should take stock of the things we have. We should take pride in our achievements and successes. We should also take kindness and empathy in our failures. It’s quite easy for us to be kind to others, but apparently impossible to do the same to ourselves. Be kind to yourself. You’re doing the best you can. You’re becoming better.