“New Year, New Me” – A Mantra Or A Joke?

As we’re approaching 2018, the classic “New Year, New Me” phrase is being splashed about all over social media, and the New Year Naysayers are out in full force. If you don’t believe me, have a quick Google of the phrase “New Year, New Me” – you’ll be met with pages and pages of snarky articles about what a cliche the term is.

Articles just like these:

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Urban Dictionary also has a less than favourable definition. If you wanna read that, feel free, I just didn’t want to give it the air time here…

That’s because I think that this simple phrase represents something much more than just a saying to slap onto a meme or something to write up a sarcastic think piece about (ironic, I know). So I wanted to try and shed a bit of positivity on this and ask the New Year Naysayers what exactly is so wrong with wanting a fresh start?!

People often make fun of the phrase because it is overly used and, sure, it can sometimes be a little dramatic. It’s also no secret that we don’t need the title of a new year to start living our life the way that we want to, but I personally really love a new year. I love the whole ‘turning over a new leaf’ thing & the idea of a clean slate is always appealing to me – plus, give me any excuse to buy new stationery and I am all over that. (Currently crushing on this Oh Deer planner, FYI 😍)

I see New Year as the perfect time to take stock on the year that’s passed and think about what direction you want things to go in throughout the following months. Sure, you might not necessarily stick to all of the New Years resolutions you have made, but I think that having the self awareness to make them in the first place is no bad thing! Of course it’s a very fine balancing act. It’s not healthy to want to change everything about yourself, but well considered self-improvement is always good.

A new year rolling around is the perfect motivator to make you think & plan for the future, but apparently only 8% of people stick to their “New Year, New Me” resolutions and 75% only maintain it throughout the first week in January. I’m definitely guilty of that too! A couple of years ago I spent about 100 quid on scrapbooking materials, determined to document the year ahead… I actually only lasted until about April, but that’s still four months of memories that I’ve got locked down. Last year I bought new running shoes – I’ve only used them a handful of times for their intended purpose, but they’re damn comfy for any long days spent on my feet. This year I really want to get back into reading – with YouTube and Netflix at my fingertips I’m not wholly confident about my chances but we’ll see! This is what the New Year Naysayers are so quick to jump on but my point is that we are too quick to beat ourselves up and can be our own worst enemies, we shouldn’t be so critical!

A new year always makes me think back to the feeling I used to get as a kid on the last night of the summer holidays before a new school year. As I packed up my bag with my new Winnie The Pooh lunchbox, my little brain buzzing away with a funny mixture of nerves & excitement, it was the promise of a new year and what was possible in that year that resonated with me – even if I didn’t quite realise it at the time. To be fair, I was quite a self reflective 7 year old (are you even shocked?!) so I probably felt this more than most. When you grow up, you somewhat lose those regular milestones. Full time work is exactly that – full time – so now I try and look upon things like the turn of a new year as a milestone where I allow myself to have those opportunities to stop and reflect. There’s just something special about being able to lump a bunch of experiences from a year together and leave them behind, as long as we take the learnings with us as we grow through 2018.

I’ve written before about change and why I think people are so quick to jump on those who have or want to make changes in their life, and the New Year Naysayers are the perfect example of that cynicism.

So maybe we just need to re-work it?

With that in mind, this year I’ve decided to look at the “New Year, New Me” trope slightly differently and resolved to get to this “New Me” by thinking about things that I really want to do or achieve, instead of things I want to give up or change about myself. Flipping it on it’s head slightly makes it feel a lot more positive & means I’ll be far more likely to stick with it!

As we approach 2018, I really don’t think there’s anything wrong with treating the phrase “New Year, New Me” as a bit of a mantra. Resolutions aren’t meant to be outward things. They are more like intimate promises to ourselves, which should be underlined by the faith that we can do those things. So, to criticise that would basically be just to say that I don’t believe in my own power to change. For me, the phrase is just something to meditate on if I feel I’m slipping away from a goal or resolution, or if I need a little something to inspire me & spread a bit of positivity. Of course, change can be hard and it’s important to remember that and reflect it in your goal setting, but I really do not believe that it’s better to never try than it is to try and fail. As humans we have the capacity to make small but really meaningful changes, and there is absolutely nothing to scoff about when we do!

So sure, at first glance “New Year, New Me” might just sound like a bit of a silly phrase – but does that mean that real meaning behind this saying should be mocked?!

I don’t think so, what about you?

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