Every time a therapist sees the phrase, “New year, new you,” they cringe. At least our therapists at LMV Counseling do. This mentality instills negative self-talk as the norm, and it can actually make achieving your new year goals more of a struggle. In this blog, we’ll discuss just why this thinking is so problematic and how changing to a more self-positive mindset is actually better for achieving your new year’s resolutions.
Why We Don’t Love the “New Year; New You” Mentality
Let’s start with the obvious – new year, new you implies that there should be a new you at all. That there is a version of you that is not good enough. This mentality can lead to feelings of depression or anxiety rather than engendering hope or optimism for the future. The first step to true change and leading a more satisfying life should always be radical acceptance of yourself exactly as you are. No matter who you want to be in the future, who you are now is a version of yourself that developed through time, work, and life experience. That means who you are right now matters in this moment and in the future, and they should be celebrated. Learning and growing doesn’t mean you aren’t worthy and valuable as you are.
Let’s change the narrative from new year; new you to new year; same you. The main difference is changing from a stance of “erasure,” where you remove your past and start again to one of progress where you learn from your past and embrace the person you were and are as an important part of your history and future. When we offer ourselves acceptance, we’re able to approach problems and challenges with greater confidence and feel more centered within our character. This provides a greater sense of stability even during the most difficult times.
Embracing Who You Are in 2023 Doesn’t Mean You Can’t Make Meaningful Change
Another problem with the new year; new you mentality is the way that it encourages everyone to set and achieve the same goals. You are a unique and special person, and your life goals should be uniquely yours. When you start your new year’s resolution from a place of acceptance, you will set goals that are right for you and what you want to achieve. Skip over the basic resolutions like losing weight or finding a new partner. Instead, really take time to think about who you are, what you’ve been through, and who you want to be and what you need to be satisfied. Set goals that will help you become the most fulfilled and healthy version of yourself. Be as specific as possible. Don’t just set goals like, “I want to spend more time with friends and family.” Instead, set goals that are specific and directly applicable to your future goals. For instance, “I feel isolated and disconnected from loved ones. I am going to spend time with my friends or family members at least once a week.” This is a more specific and personalized resolution that may lead to meaningful, positive, long-term change.
Let’s Talk About New Year’s Resolutions
If you’re interested in talking to a therapist about starting the new year off right, the LMV Counseling team would be happy to hear from you. Getting started is quick and simple. Call us at (910) 210-6160 or complete our online scheduling request form.