A happy woman with her arms raised outdoors in the snow with a thick wooly jumper.

New Year, New You?

So, it’s that time of year again! We’ve over indulged. Then indulged a little more. And then topped that off with copious amounts of cheese. New Year’s Eve has a great way of making us reflect on the year we’ve had. The highs as well as the lows. The good thing about reflection is that you can pick something that you may want to work on, or a goal or target for the upcoming year.

It’s a tradition that goes go as far back as the Babylonian times some 4,000 years ago! They would make offerings and sacrifices to the gods. They made promises, hoping they would earn the god’s favour for the year ahead… if they kept their word.

Thankfully we have moved on from sacrifices, but we have adapted this ancient tradition. We use it as a way to work on ourselves and set personal goals to help with the year ahead. I do like the fact that we practice an ancient tradition, even if we have altered it.

I keep hearing people say, ‘new year, new me’. Or I see articles in my news feed being posted on how to get that ‘new you’.

Why?

Be happy with who you are.

I don’t really want a new me! I’ve spent 34 years becoming who I am. OK, I’m nowhere near perfect, which my family will vouch for. But deep down I like who I am, as humans we have flaws and imperfections, but that makes us who we are, individual, unique. I hate the idea that people would want a new version of themselves. I don’t think people say it meaning the way it can come across. But I feel like It reinforces that it’s okay to put ourselves down. Or to doubt ourselves and even think that the way we are isn’t good enough.

YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH!

This adds so much unnecessary pressure on the year ahead, before it has even started, and it isn’t doing anything for our mental health. Already, so many young people and adults worry about looking or being a certain way. Mainly because they feel they need to conform unhealthy role models portrayed by the media and social expectations. We need to start the year by feeling positive about ourselves and our choices. It’s important to choose a goal to help us grow and experience more, rather than adding unnecessary stress and self-criticism.

Resolution keeping… the reality

It has become a bit of a thing that in January the gyms are absolutely heaving. Slimming World and Weight Watchers have their biggest influx of new members. It’s great that so many people want to improve their health and fitness. However, on average, 80% of people who sign up to the gym won’t make it past the 5-month mark. 4% won’t make it to the end of January. And 14% will give up in February. We try so hard to diet and be healthy. And after two weeks we fall off the wagon, ending up in a carb coma… We have all been there, raiding the kid’s snacks or getting a late night Deliveroo!

This happens because we put so much pressure on ourselves to reach these targets. But you can’t suddenly cut out all the unhealthy foods you usually eat. Or become a fitness queen because that was your chosen resolution (as lovely as that would be). Most of our resolutions are too unrealistic or something we don’t necessarily want. So, when we do cave in and binge or have less time for the gym we just give up. Things happen in life. We are busy. We’re working longer hours than ever. So it’s not easy to introduce a new routine and stick to it.

Make it right for you!

Firstly, ask yourself what it is you really want to achieve. Do you want to make more time for family and friends? Or maybe get into a new sport or try to eat a more balanced diet? Whatever it is, you don’t need to pick something unrealistic, just because that’s what everyone else has done. Not everyone wants to lose weight or become a gym bunny. It could be to call your family more or even just being able to reach down and touch your toes. Perhaps a work or career target?

No matter what your initial goal is, make it achievable and don’t be hard on yourself. When you reach it then you can always set another goal. When we make smaller challenges, which are achievable, we feel more positive about the progress we have made! It’s a gradual process.

So, what if you join a sports club or set a fitness challenge later in the year? It’s proven that you are far more likely to stick with it. In a study they found that of those who had signed up for a fitness challenge, 92% were still active after the event. That’s incredible when you compare it to all the usual January-February dropouts!

Self love

Resolutions can be about absolutely anything. For me, what I want to work on is my mindset and career goals. I want to help and encourage others to be more positive. This year, when I hear people put themselves down or not believe in themselves, I want to say something to lift them up, remind them of their worth and abilities.

So why not throw out the ‘new year, new me’ philosophy. And instead, just work on growing and giving ourselves some positive goals for 2023, whilst enjoying and living every moment of it.
May your new year be full of joy and positivity

Amy and Mark

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