A brand new year is upon us and no doubt you're already sick of the "new year new me" posts and checklists of alllll the things you need to change in order to be happy/successful/fulfilled in 2020. Now, I am all for new year's goals and using January as a reset period to gain a little perspective and get back to routine after a hectic and indulgent December. However, I also want to remind you that you don't need to overhaul your life this new year and change every single aspect of what you do just because it's January!
There seems to be even more pressure this year too because we're starting a new decade and I've felt it as well. But to be honest, I personally like the 2019 me and I like how I'm everchanging and growing. Rather than vowing to transform into a brand new person, I've committed to just improving a few simple things instead. I spoke about some of my goals for this year in my post about what I learned in 2019, and the main things I want to improve are things that I'm already doing, I just want to do them better.
I much prefer the word "goals" to "resolutions". Rather than setting yourself extreme targets and complete life changes (which will likely be short lived), it's much more effective to create goals and habits that are small yet sustainable so you'll actually stick to them throughout the year and you won't get this feeling of failure when your unattainable, unrealistic new year's resolutions start to flop.
Because the thing is, we're all a work in progress and that's what makes us human. The most important thing is continual improvement rather than big grand resolutions that we only keep for the first month of the year. Be happy with who you are and where you are now, and use a new year as a time to refresh, reset and continue being your amazing self.
With any kind of goal whether it's new years or not, it's always much better to make small changes than big drastic ones. Whether it's that you want to exercise more, save more money, change your diet or shake up your routine, going extreme isn't sustainable. Because, when you change your lifestyle so much, it's hard to actually keep that up. So, you end up going hard for a month or so, and then you fall back into your old routine so it ends up being sort of counter-productive.
Instead, think about the baby steps that you can take. If you don't exercise at all right now, it's unreasonable to expect yourself to suddenly workout or go running 5x a week. If you eat a diet that's heavy in meat and dairy, it's unreasonable to expect yourself to cut it all out overnight. Any change you decide to make, you need to go slow and set yourself goals that you'll actually stick to and that will actually become a habit that you enjoy. Why not challenge yourself to workout 2x a week to begin with, and after a month increase that to 3x a week? If you want to cut down on animal consumption, why not start with meat-free Mondays or commit to making at least 2 yummy plant-based dinners a week to mix things up?
Baby steps are far more manageable and even though you don't get that satisfaction of a complete life shake-up, in the end the results are so much better because you actually stick at it.
New year, fresh perspective
I really dislike the whole "new year new me" idea. However, one thing that I do agree with is that the new year gives you a great amount of perspective. It's very easy to lose sight of your goals and fall off the wagon towards the end of the year, and that definitely happens to me especially as we usually go home to England for Christmas and all routine goes out the window.
So, while I don't think a complete overhaul is needed I do think the new year is the perfect time to have a perspective check and a great time to jump back on the horse, realign with your goals and refocus.
Be the best version of yourself
I spent many years in my late teens and early twenties feeling like I needed to be or act like someone else in order to be cool or be liked. I never realised it at the time, but in retrospect I don't think I was ever truly that comfortable with who I was because I felt like that wasn't good enough. I used to be a lot quieter and wouldn't use my voice as much, simply because I cared so much about what other people would think.
With age, perspective and new experiences, I've grown a huge amount over the last 5/6 years and I feel so happy and comfortable with the person I've become and confident in my voice.
My goal this year is all about being the best version of who I already am. It's about being grateful for what my body can do and pushing myself to get stronger (rather than simply "get skinnier" which is what my goal used to be when I was 20). It's about celebrating my achievements but also continuing to go after what I want and not letting fear get in the way. It's about embracing the life that we've created, learning more and continuing to grow so that I can be the very best version of my true and unique self.
I can't wait for what 2020 has in store!
Have you felt a certain pressure this new year to totally overhaul your lifestyle or make huge changes? Would love to know how you feel about this!