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November 24, 2021

New Year, New Me? No Thanks!

“New Year, New You.”

Can we talk about how annoying that statement is?

Just how irritating it is that at the end of every year, we are inundated with catchphrases and declarations that ultimately state that we are not good enough.

Implying that before the new year begins, we need to change everything about ourselves to be truly happy and experience a better year than the one before.

We see it everywhere, on social media, advertisements and media outlets. The message sustained through capitalism and sent to us that we need to change. More importantly, change quickly.

It comes to us through messages masked as guides to wellness and self-improvement. All of which are important, of course. But the disingenuous nature of these messages can be damaging. Increasing feelings of anxiety, stress and despair.

Ultimately, we are overwhelmed and inundated. We are made to feel not good enough.

Through these messages, we are encouraged to purchase quick-fix products. To spend extra time examining ourselves and our lives for flaws. And to idealise unrealistic and fictitious lives and goals.

These messages pressure us to judge ourselves. And as these messages amplify as we approach the year-end, we judge our year. We anxiously try to figure out how to mould ourselves to fit into the idealised life advertised to us. With brands and companies capitalising off this inherited anxiousness, we absorb this toxicity to be the norm. We work to meet invisible societal expectations. Endlessly trying to change ourselves as the year begins because we believe it’s for the best.

As this has been passed down through generations, we idealise perfection. Making goals and plans that we are not excited to achieve, setting them purely out of angst and toxic societal expectations.

The resolutions, goals and plans we set are preemptive in expecting to receive questions about them. It’s fair to assume that not everyone looks forward to the onslaught of questions about their plans. Perhaps consider whether the resolutions set, goals and plans made are things you truly want. And not just something idealised after consuming fictitious and edited narratives from countless outlets.

Don’t get us wrong. Planning your year, setting resolutions and creating goals for yourself is an exciting thing to do. You can identify where you want to be in a year and what you want to have achieved.

We want you to be sure that the goals and resolutions you set for yourself are your own. That you know, the current culture that pushes **us to be our best self dismisses the inherently imperfect nature of life. That not everything is easy or simple. That things can change, and so might our plans. And that this is okay. That we do not need to punish ourselves and fall into despair.

Assess the desire behind your goals are resolutions.

How genuine are they?

Are they truly something you want to achieve or make happen?

Or are they in response to the messages we see and absorb that are edited to perpetuate perfection?

We implore you to challenge the root of the plans you make. And, more importantly, why they all need to be achieved as soon as it hits the 1st of January. Why such drastic change needs to happen for you to have a joyful and successful year.

Change can occur at any point in your life. It does not need to all be at the beginning of a new year, leaving you anxious, over exerted and overwhelmed as soon as it starts.

You can create change whenever you decide to. Make plans that excite you and fill you with joy. Create goals that you cannot wait to achieve because they will bring you happiness.

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is that most things are fickle. Things can change almost instantaneously. We implore you to trust yourself and your judgement, knowing that what is for you will find you. That drastic change is not needed for you to be happier. Don’t hold yourself at impossible and inherently false and damaging standards and set constraints and timelines.

Know that you can live your best life by living according to the change you want to see, in a healthy, well-measured and authentic way. That you can achieve what it is you want without pressuring and overwhelming yourself.

Plan for what you truly want in life. And live accordingly.