What's New Year Really About?
Email, Facebook and Instagram are all a bombardment of “New Year, New You” messages. I’m seeing adverts for online training programmes, 30-day challenges, clean eating programmes, vision boards and every kind of the “this is your chance!” variety imaginable.
I’m sure there’s some really inspiring stuff in there. I’m sure there are some wonderful opportunities to make the changes I’ve wanted to make for months. But to be honest, it all gets lost in the overwhelm of ‘too much’…
…That’s all telling me that I’m not enough.
After all this personal development work, I still have work to do.
I still need to make changes, close those gaps (not the thigh kind) and work on myself just a little bit more. And then I’ll be great and happy and things will just fall into place.
It doesn’t inspire me. It makes me want to scream. It doesn’t make me pause on an advert, interested in how this offer might be just the thing to turn my entire life around. Sorry advertiser, but your intended “call to action” just fell flat.
Because the truth is, it just makes me want to say “shut the f&@@ up”.
Stop talking to me. Actually, I’m okay as I am. And what exactly is really, really going to change from one day to the next, just because I’m using a new diary?
There’s something underneath it all that does have meaning. There’s a reason why so many of us feel a flitter of excitement as the calendar strikes over to a crisp and clean 1/1. There’s an underlying need that does feel tempted to listen to the all-too-large suggestion box of New Year advice.
I think it’s about hope.
There’s something about the clean slate of a brand spanking new year that gives us hope that things can change. That we can change. Not because we have to change, because we’re obligated to change or because there’s anything fundamentally wrong with us as we are, but because within every single one of us is a desire to live a good and happy life.
We all have this in common. We all have a longing for a life that feels joyful and content, that’s peaceful yet inspired. We all want to feel good in ourselves, connected in our relationships. We all want to feel safe and to belong. We all want to feel that we’re living our best lives.
A new year gives us that chance to reflect on what’s not working, and invite in the energy of what we want more of.
It helps us tune in to what we really, really want and to get intentional about how we want to live our lives. We can break it down into life areas so we can take specific action on the areas that simply aren’t working. We can focus on how we want to feel. Maybe we just want to look at what we want to let go of. Perhaps we select something we know makes us feel better if we do it every single day. Or for some, it’s simply choosing one single word as the intention for the year ahead.
It doesn’t matter what you choose to do.
What’s important is that it brings you a fresh perspective and a sense of hope that things can be different.
The beat doesn’t just go on and on and on.
Things can change.
And this is our chance to choose differently. This time, with clarity and intent.