If we had a dollar for every time we came across ‘New Year, New Me’ around the start of a year, we would be laughing our way to the bank very early in the year each year!
“New Year, New Me” - but as the calendar changes and the clock hits midnight, do we miraculously transform into a different person? Or do we wake up on New Year’s day as someone completely different? This phrase is often heard at the start of every new year as people vow to start fresh and become new people. It’s a philosophy many may choose to adopt and live by but it is high time we let rethink this idea and let go of this popular state of mind.
For a lot of people the idea behind this statement is to put the entire past year behind them and move on to the new one. This stems from our idea that going into a new year immediately eliminates all the bad that happened the year prior. It doesn’t work that way and expecting it to will only going to set us up for disappointment. Each experience that we have, good or bad, helps to shape us as it influences the person who we are today. If we carry regrets, we don’t wake up one day and have them stop haunting us. They linger on and healing isn’t linked to a calendar, so it’s important to be patient and realistic. We all make mistakes and poor judgements which we wish we could take back, or want to make strides to improve our lives in the coming year but that doesn’t happen by letting go of the person you truly are and having to transform into another person.
Not following this ideology also helps to boost our self acceptance and encourages us to be more patient, kind and understanding with ourselves by cutting ourselves some slack. We make all these plans to start our ‘new’ selves, and we punish ourselves for not keeping to those plans as we may fall back into the same ways of the year before. Knowing that we are not forcing ourselves to make these changes by a certain date will also give us confidence that if we have an off day, or we fall into old routine, we can pick things up and continue – rather than giving up then starting. This can also do wonders for our Mental Health and wellbeing as we won’t be constantly beating ourselves up for not sticking to a timeline rigidly.
There is another negative connotation to the idea of becoming a ‘New Me’ which implies that we are at the present moment is not good enough for the world, and we need to become a new person instead. And this simply isn’t the case and can be damaging to our sense of self-worth and identity. It can lead to immense dissatisfaction and constant comparison with others which can be detrimental to our Mental Health in both the short term and long term. None of us may be perfect but that doesn’t mean that who we are isn’t enough or valuable.
We are capable of becoming better people, without losing our sense of identity. The fact of the matter will always be that we are all capable of being good people and we need to accept, love and embrace who we are, and use our strengths for doing good for ourselves, our inner circle and the world at large. The key to channeling and harnessing our strengths remains in recognizing all that we are truly capable of accomplishing, without becoming someone else, by embracing the best aspects of who you already are.
We are all constantly changing and evolving, but that doesn’t mean that who we are at present isn’t good enough and we need to be another person. Perhaps a good way to phrase this would be, “New Year, Better Me.” Everyone has flaws they wish they didn’t, but we don’t have to abandon who we are to fix them. We all have the ability of becoming a better person, without losing sight of our identity. As they say, we are very much allowed to grow in the process of existing and be a masterpiece and a work in progress at the same time. Change is possible without becoming someone else and we need to learn to love, accept and be comfortable as who we are again.
As humans, many of us live in a constant state of self-consciousness and social comparison meaning that we are always looking for the things that are “wrong” with us and focusing on our flaws while noticing aspects in others which we find missing in ourselves which further builds a sense of inadequacy. We forget that each individual is unique and this ultimately makes us unable to be happy. We need to learn to love who we are as human beings and do the things that encourage the journey to self-acceptance. We need to embrace ourselves, be happy and accept ourselves as we are and allow ourselves to celebrate our accomplishments, no matter how small or big they are while not beating ourselves to the ground when we face challenges along the way.
All being said, Let’s stop it with the ‘New Year, New Me’, because while this phrase is all about becoming who you aspire to be and evolve as individuals, there is no timescale that can be put on that. We are all a work-in-progress. Let’s learn to love our perfectly imperfect selves, and embrace the magical, unique person who we are and keep moving towards achieving our full potential.
Written by: Vedica Podar