It's a caption as old as time, "New Year, New Me" is sprawled below every photo on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, all in the hopes of changing or reinventing ones self. Well, I'll be the first to tell you that the mantra is full of shit and you should stop using it, immediately, and I'll tell you why.
1.Nothing is Wrong With You
By using this mantra you are alluding to the ideology that you need to fix yourself, when in reality all you have to do is grow as a human being. You don't have to put that pressure on yourself because the pressure is what makes you look back on the year and realize you did none of the things you wanted too. You want to know why? It's because pressure is not fun and it makes everything you want to do a hassle. The funny thing is is that you will grow into the human you want to be with one thing and one thing only, time. Good things come to those who wait is a more fitting mantra when going into the new year because it implies that everything will fall into place and with your new determination it is a sure fire way to make whatever goal you have in mind happen.
2.Stop With The Pressure
Social media has thrown us into a frenzy of the worst possible game of catch up I have ever experienced. Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Tik-tok have suggested that without materialistic items our lives don't hold as much value as others; that without a certain amount of followers we will not obtain to anything. It has put an invisible elephant on the shoulders of young adults everywhere because if you don't have the new iPhone or the latest pair of Air Jordan's are you even successful? The answer is yes, being successful is an opinion and not a fact, which we tend to forget. In reality, no one cares if you didn't travel the world this year to pretend you've been in Europe for three months when in reality it was a week, or that you didn't lose the fifteen pounds you wanted too because lets be serious everyone gains at least ten during the holidays. The goal should be to be happy and not base your happiness on external factors.
3.Where is the Fire?
With the way young adults are running towards success you would think they only have six months to live. Society tends to make us think that if we are not doing every single thing we said we were going to accomplish this year it wasn't a fulfilling year, which is false. Guess what? You still have a whole lifetime to get done what you said you were going to do. You wanted to lose 15 pounds, okay that's great! Instead you only lost 7 pounds, but in less than 24 hours you will still have a whole new year to lose the other 6. You wanted to move into an apartment with no house mates? That sounds amazing (no offense to mine), but instead you can't afford it because of financial trouble this year? It's completely fine! Within the next six months save up a little bit more, because guess what? You have all the time in the world to get to where you want, it doesn't matter how long it takes as long as you get there.
Society has ushered down our throats a pre-timeline of our lives which includes but is not limited too; finish high school by 18, finish college by 22, move out by 23, be married by 30 and have kids by 35. What about the other 60 years of your life that you have?! With social media nowadays you have to do all of that while also becoming a millionaire by 27 and travelling the entire world by 35, if not, you're not successful right? There is no fire burning away the years of your life, I promise you, you have time to do every single New Years resolution you set out to do within the average life span of a healthy, stable human being.
Tips N' Tricks for Surviving The New Year
Now after reading all of that you realize that Resolutions might not be the best course of action for you, and now I tell you my Tips N' Tricks to not having resolutions and still feeling fulfilled by the end of the year!
Tip #1: Short Term over Long Term
I started doing this in December of last year (see what I did there) and I have noticed a significant difference in my outlook on goal setting. Instead of thinking about the big picture that is the Year 2021, think about the 365 days or in this case 12 months and each month is only 30 days. Making mini resolutions each month is easier for your mind to actually focus on the goal because it only requires your attention for 30 days. How do you expect to keep thinking about the same thing for 365 days straight? For example; your new years Resolution is to eat the same breakfast everyday. You are expecting yourself to eat that same meal for 365 days with the hope you don't get tired of it, which we all know is not going to work. At that point you're going to feel pressured to eat it because that's what you said you were going to do and now the once scrumptious meal has turned into a chore to eat. You're not having fun and you really want to eat that cinnamon roll your housemate gave you, but you can't. Not only are you pressuring yourself to do this random resolution, you are making the resolutions a hassle instead of a goal that will genuinely make you happy. So what are you going to do?
Insert the Mini-Resolutions; a sure fire way to make you feel like you have lived the year to the fullest. By making a resolution for each month, not only do you reach your main goal, you absolutely crushed TWELVE resolutions instead of the lame 1 you decided at the beginning of the year. You have accomplished so much and you should be proud of yourself!
Tip #2: You Are You, and They are Them
Let us stop with the comparison game because all the young adults reading this know they are only comparing themselves based off of social media, which is not real life. There is no game plan on life and every persons path is different which makes us comparing ourselves to other people a game of apples vs oranges, they're both great but they both provide different things and there is no unanimous thing on which one is better. That is an analogy for you and the person you are constantly comparing yourself too on social media. You are exactly where you need to be and whatever you desire will come to you when it is meant for you. I promise you.
Stay at your own pace and don't rush the process that is your life because you will be so busy worrying about the future that the present will slip by. A pro tip for stopping the comparison game is to limit your time on social media (iPhone has a time limit on certain apps to give you reminders) or you can even delete social media altogether if you feel up to it. I try to do a social media cleanse once a month, even if it's only for two days it is beneficial.
Tip #3: Be Proud
The old year just ended and instead of processing the year that you have had you choose to ignore it and jump right into the new year. Give yourself time to process the long ass year we all just had and make sure to give yourself grace. I know one of the main resolutions this year was to get back into shape, which is understandable because we have all been in quarantine eating instant ramen and ice cream while binge watching every series on Netflix. However, everyone is in the same boat and your body is processing stress, grief and trauma which is going to form in your body as fat. It was a hard year for everyone and it is okay that you are not able to bounce back as fast, if you are still grieving and/or if you need more time.
Instead of focusing on the things you want to change think about how much stronger you are then you were at the beginning of this year. You survived and are surviving a GLOBAL PANDEMIC! There have only been 8 of them since 1900! You are doing a kick ass job and you should be proud of yourself instead of being so hard on yourself and even if you are not, I am extremely proud of you for making it this far.
Tip #4: The Tortoise Wins
This tip is a little similar to the first one but this just explains that slow and steady wins the race, every time. A usual occurrence in New Year's resolutions is that everyone dives in head first and expects to keep at it immediately. However, if you think about a long term life changing event it is going to take time. Instead of changing your whole lifestyle and going cold turkey within the first week of January just for you to be burnt out by February, play the long time. Make life changes here and there, little things that will make you feel better when you completely squash the goals, this will hold you accountable and also make life long changes that will be easier to keep.
Tip # 5: Visionary
Grab your girls! Grab your boys! Husband, Wives, friends! Get a shit ton of food and wine and make vision boards! Every single year my friends and I will make vision boards the first weekend of the year. As cheesy as it sounds it makes it easier for all of your goals to be right in front of you and on top of that you have a ton of accountability partners. By making the boards with your friends you can help coordinate your goals with each other to help others out. It's a great way to find workout partners, travel buddies and matchmakers.
Vision boards are a key to my successful year, by constantly reminding me why and what I am working so hard for. It's easy to forget about things when they are out of sight and out of mind so make sure to put your vision board somewhere you look at everyday. I put mine on the wall right in front of my bed, so every time I wake up I can see it!
Whether it takes you one year or three to reach your goals just remember that there is no rush on your life and that whatever you can achieve is something to be proud of. Dwelling on the negative side of the year into the next year will not be productive and make you forget that everything that is meant for you will find it's way to you! I hope everyone has a great year and I can't wait to travel through 2021 with you all!