NEW YEAR, NEW ME?
Time for change! New year, new me! I’ll finally lose the weight and go to the gym every day. I’m going to eat healthier, quit smoking, start reading, find love, travel more… blah blah blah. We’ve all probably said something on the list, at some point. But why do we do this to ourselves? Why does the end of the year create this longing for change and self criticism?
I remember being in school as a child and the end of the semester always brought these mixed emotions. I‘m growing and things will be changing. It’s exciting and terrifying. Who will I become and what will happen? There was a difference then. I didn’t set a ton of unreachable tasks to validate my self worth. I just knew things would come and I would face them as best I could.
I think I was about 22 when I started to really criticize myself and compare to others. I had gained at least 50lbs since high school, was single and felt stuck in a job with no growth opportunities. I can honestly tell you that I didn’t use the gym membership (that was going to change my world) after 2 weeks, but held onto it for 2 years of shame, I wasted time dating people that had no potential and continued to work said meaningless job. Looking back, this was a necessary experience to bring me further. Now 33, I live a very different life.
Change will come whether we are ready or not. I eventually found my partner, I’m still 50lbs+ of what my previous ideal weight was, but I’m happy in my skin now, and I’m definitely in a much better career. This didn’t happen because I set an unattainable New Years resolution. It happened because I continued to live, embrace and go with the flow. I‘m not saying that we shouldn’t set goals for ourselves. I believe that’s key to self growth, but how and when we set them is important. I found these statements from Dr. Nicole LePera (Instagram: @the.holistic.psychologist). ”We make New Year resolutions with good intention, but without understanding the brain, we set ourselves up for failure. When we make resolutions that are too far off from our current habits, our brain feels like it’s in danger. Resolutions like ”I‘ll go to the gym every day (when you’ve never been consistent) or ”I‘ll do a 30 minute meditation daily,“ or “I‘m going to lose 30 lbs,“ send the brain into fear mode because they‘re too far from our familiar life experience.“ True transformation takes place through small daily promises that you know you‘ll keep.“
Where do we start? First thing that I had to do was stop comparing to others, (this is hard and I still have my bad days but that’s okay) especially on social media. I feel like so much of this need to start over comes from the cultural standards that define how beauty, success, and a meaningful life should look. When we consume media that is meant to feed into this material driven, unattainable lifestyle, we will always be left wanting and coming up short. I think practicing gratitude is key to growth. I need to be aware of what I have, in order to know what I want and why. It’s so important to live in the moment because life is so fragile and we end up missing the big picture, if we only focus on a small segment. Set small daily goals at first. Habits form slowly but through routine. Practice self love. I talked about my positive affirmation song in the last blog, but this is so huge for me. When I feel down, I remind myself of all I have to offer. I am kind, I am loving, I am resilient, and so on. Lastly, remember it’s a journey. We aren’t here to reach goal A, B, & C by self determined dates. I think we are here to experience and that happens with or without trying. A new year should equal new experiences to add to the story of you! So… New year, same me…but growing and experiencing and that’s just fine!
Happy 2022! Sending lots of love!