The start of a new year brings a plethora of content around changing ourselves; getting slimmer, becoming more accomplished, changing our careers, reinventing ourselves. Self improvement.
Don’t get me wrong, plenty of these narratives come from a good place – recruiters trying to give you new opportunities, health gurus trying to get us off our backsides and live healthier lives. However, the underlying message behind under all of this is the damaging concept that our accumulated successes and achievements are to be disregarded and that at this current moment, we are not our best current selves. I truly do think these resolutions are actually the enemy of real change – they don’t encourage true acceptance of your current self and instead lead you down a path in which your identity is a commodity which you can wipe clean and create from scratch.
Don’t get me wrong, a new year does, for me, bring a ‘newness’ and freshness to perspective. However, what if we went through the process of evaluating our behaviour and instead focused on reintegration rather than modification? Language is so important here and it can have a huge impact on the way we frame our successes and achievements. Sounds overwhelming? Don’t know where to start?
Here’s four simple ways I’m going to battling the urge to ‘reinvent’ myself in 2018.
Identify strengths from the previous year
What did I absolutely, one hundred percent nail last year? What did I own? If I focus on the positives and the factors of last year/the past that were done well, I’m not only counteracting my challenges with positives, but I’m ensuring I keep doing more of the good stuff.
Identify old habits and traits
So there’s a few things that happened last year or in the past that you’d rather didn’t happen this year – why not focus on approaching these challenges with a different approach and perspective, rather than feeling like a full reinvention of self is required. My ‘whole self’ is also made up of all of the successes and achievements so I’m going to do my best to remember that.
Having said that, *that worrying habit* I’ve got doesn’t enhance my life, so I’m going to do my best to grow and learn and adapt so that it isn’t such a huge part of my life. Will I be a failure if I slip in week 1? Of course not, we’re all human after all.
Evaluate the voices you are surrounding yourself with
Comparison is the thief of joy. There’s no doubting that, and it’s one of the hardest habits to be mindful of as I feel like half the time I do it without even realising. If so much of this process is subconscious then surely it would positively impact
Have a challenge with body confidence and feeling inadequate with the perfect bodies on Instagram? If you’re not wanting to do a full on social purge, seek out those content creators who portray themselves in a different way. Mother of Daughters (check her out, she’s cool) is a great example of this.
Want to be more of a ‘go-getter’ and struggling to find the drive? There’s a shedload of great newletters, books and content creators out there producing inspiring content to help focus your mind. Two of my online daily read favourites are Girl Boss and Boss Babe.
Just as a side note, it might be worth checking out Shine Text – it’s an AI service that provides daily motivation, ideas, and guidance based specific challenges you have. It’s proving a great little tool for me so wanted to get it on your radar.
Rejecting the concept of perfection
Perfection just doesn’t exist! Whilst we may have made mistakes in the past, we don’t live there and dwelling on them in a cycle of self criticism isn’t going to do us any good. This year I’m going to focus on making myself happy in the now – living harmoniously with my past but not letting it define me. I am going to be patient with myself and go at my own pace.
What are your goals for this year?