The whole “new year, new me” thing is trite, unsustainable and arbitrary. Over it. And so seem to be so many people as I watched the social media posts roll out on the 1st. On the other hand, complacency disguised as self-compassion and the idea that New Year’s resolutions are garbage swings too much to the other extreme.
Can we find a middle?
My life has always been about finding that middle. Bipolar disorder. It’s right there in the name; I live on two poles, two extremes, black and white. That grey area? It’s difficult for me to grasp.
I don’t know what part of it is the illness and what part of it is just inherently who I am but I have always aspired to greatness. If I do anything, it must be wholeheartedly, with the intent of being the best I can be at it. All or nothing. Go big or go home. You can see where the middle gets elusive for me. Because of this, goals have always been important to me. Lists, self-discipline and perseverance are all things I strive to incorporate into my life.
You’d think I’d be all about the commitment to grow, to better oneself and to reach new accomplishments. And I am. But I think maybe the format of New Year’s resolutions is flawed. The idea that a single day can create a 180 turn in every aspect of our lives fails to remember that change takes time and repetition.
We should be focusing on consistent and sustainable growth, not on arbitrary spurts of it accompanied by stress, societal pressure and unrealistic expectations.
Your goals should be lofty, you goals should scare and inspire you. Aim for the absolute best version of yourself you can imagine. The trick is to break down those goals into smaller steps and to work towards those smaller goals regularly. Baby steps, building momentum until you reach the ultimate goal.
We should be committing to bettering ourselves, to giving back, to being healthy, to loving and caring for ourselves all year long. No need to hyper focus on it on January 1st and burn out by Valentine’s Day.
Besides, do I really want a new me? I’m pretty awesome. And I know you are too. We all just have areas that could be improved. There is always room for improvement.
Make it a year-long journey. No, make it a life-long journey. That might sound really cliché but every endeavour, success and failure from the past year has made you the person who is now undertaking this new year, and the next one and so on. It all builds on itself.
So. New year, same you, improved goals. How does that sound?