Why ‘New Year, New Me’ Is A Big No-No
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With each year comes new aspirations and goals as most of us try to improve our lives in one capacity or another. One thing I’m tired of hearing people say each and every year is: ‘new year, new me’.
I’ll admit, I’ve said it before – years ago. But now, I don’t even understand what it truly means. Why should you have to change each year? What’s wrong with the person you are now? What if you don’t like the “new you”? Will you still be saying this phrase 12 months from now?
As you can see, it prompts so many internal questions for me.
While setting New Year’s resolutions is popular, I don’t think people should have to wait until January 1 to set new goals or feel pressured to become a more improved person.
Whether you’re setting financial, personal or career-related goals for 2017, here’s why you shouldn’t focus on the new year, new me cliche.
You’ll Change When You’re Ready
If you’re truly interested in improving your finances and becoming a better person, you’ll change when you’re ready and not just because a giant ball dropped with lots of confetti and it’s a new year.
Watching everyone else run out and pursue their new goals won’t cause you to change either. If you really want to change, you need a new mindset.
If you’re a smoker, you probably won’t quit just because it’s January. If you tend to overspend all the time, you probably won’t automatically start saving more of your money because January 1st has passed.
Saying that you’re going to wait for the New Year to become a different person is another way of saying that you’re really not ready to change and would rather put it off.
Each Day is a Chance at a Fresh Start
No one really needs New Year’s resolution season as permission to start fresh. Each day is a chance to make a new start. This is important to realize as the year goes on and you lose motivation to reach your goals.
I started trying to prioritize my health more last year around October and didn’t feel the need to wait until a new year. I have a large overall goal but I try to take it slow by setting smaller weekly goals and aspirations.
If I sleep in and miss one of my morning group exercise classes at the gym (this has happened more frequently since the weather got colder) or just get so busy and end up not being able to make it on one of my exercise days, I simply reset and try again the following day and attempt to make it up for it later in the week.
Be sure to focus on your goals day by day not year by year. That way, you’ll be more present in the moment as you intentionally work toward success.
Focus on Adopting Better Habits
Your main focus this year should be on adopting better habits and not trying to become a whole new person.
Habits can be very powerful and often determine whether we will reach your goal or not. Just as it takes time to break a habit, it takes time to form a habit as well so be sure to focus on which healthy habits you can start adopting to help you have a great year.
If your goal is to start building more wealth this year, you’ll need to adopt habits that will help you get there. Observing what wealthy people do with their money and the habits they have is a great place to start.
You may want to increase your retirement contributions, open a brokerage account, start paying yourself first or adopt a frugal lifestyle. All of these changes start out as habits and take time and effort to implement.
Focusing on adopting good habits is not just effective for financial goals either.
If you set a personal resolution to communicate more effectively with people in your life, you might want to adopt habits like listening more closely, speaking calmly and expressing how you feel in positive ways.
These habits have little to do with your personality or the traits that make you yourself and more to do with your motivation to reach your goal and your ability to form great habits which is yet another reason why the new year, new me mindset is pretty useless and won’t really help.
Habits and Resolutions Go Hand-in-Hand
While I personally don’t think there is anything wrong with wanting to set resolutions and improve various aspects of your life, I believe it’s best to focus on getting rid of bad habits and adopting new ones instead of expecting yourself to go through this huge transformation over the next 12 months.
Having those expectations can just set you up for failure and disappointment. Remember, you can start fresh at any time and don’t need to be pressured to start doing things differently if you aren’t yet committed to making the changes.
How do you feel about New Year’s resolutions? Did you set any for this year? Which habits are you going to focus on adopting?