new you

New Year, not a new you

Share the love, spread the word

It’s not even the end of January and I’m already exhausted.

I’m exhausted by all the New Year, New You malarkey that has flooded my inbox and social feed.

Everywhere I look is someone exalting the benefits of turning me into someone new.

The thing is, I don’t want to be someone else. I like me. I think the me I am is a pretty good human, who lives a pretty good life.

Telling me I need to be a new me is akin to telling me I’m not good enough as I am.

This is the negative bias these well-intentioned (or sometimes blatantly psychologically manipulative) messages carry – that you must improve yourself because you’re crap the way you are.

It triggers a fear that we must do better, be better – be someone else entirely – because we’re simply not enough as we are.

Self growth is necessary but self improvement built on the basis of feeling inadequate in the first place is derogatory and disrespectful to the person you already are.

It might be a new year, but you don’t need to be a new you.

Perhaps what you need though is a

… new routine

… new habits

… new challenges

… new experiences

… new adventures

… new accomplishments

… new thoughts.

Instead of a new you, do something new

The concept of a new you intimates that you are fundamentally flawed in some way and must change yourself. You must change you, the very essence of your being.

It says: “there is something wrong with you”, when the reality is there may be something wrong with your choices, your circumstances, with the way you are living, but you yourself are inherently enough.

When we are prompted to think of a ‘New You’ – a new us – we are automatically prompted to start looking for things within ourselves and about ourselves that we perceive to be wrong and in need of fixing, changing or erasing.

And as a result, it makes us feel crap about ourselves.

Instead though, prompting ourselves to think of a new habit, a new challenge or something new we’d like to add to our lives gives us something to focus on which we have some control over and feel positive about. It adds a new layer, new depth or fresh energy to our lives, without a burden of self loathing or disappointment.

I can’t be a new me. I am who I am. I’m loving, loyal, smart and generous. I have opinions and a voice, I am strong willed and ambitious. I am lots of things, including flawed, and I have learned  (and continue to learn) to accept the magical mix of complexities that make me me.

But I do need a

… new routine

… new habits

… new challenges

… new experiences

… new adventures

… new accomplishments

… new thoughts.

These are what I need in order to live my life in a better way. These may look like:

  • a morning routine that includes meditation
  • daily yoga and movement – setting it as a challenge
  • new work projects that challenge me and push me out of my comfort zone
  • finishing the house renovation and clearing unused ‘stuff’ from our home
  • regular coffee dates with friends
  • weekends away to new destinations
  • finally finishing the book I’ve been writing but not committing to
  • further study

By looking at what I can add or change to this list, my happiness automatically increases and my health improves. By attempting new challenges, I add excitement and interest to my life. I gain a sense of accomplishment. By adding new practices to my day, I become healthier and more balanced.

It shakes up the old and life transforms for the better, but I’m still me.

You don’t need to be a new you. You’re not a piece of worn out furniture to be replaced.

But if you’re craving the ‘new’ – and we automatically think like this at the beginning of a year where there is a long, clean slate ahead of us – then perhaps consider what new choices you can make to the actions that define your daily life.

Keep you. Just set her free in a new environment and watch her thrive.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.