New Year — New You?

It’s just a few days into 2022 and I’m tired of hearing how a new year offers the opportunity to become a ‘new’ you.

Does becoming a new you mean getting a new life?  Perhaps a new body?  Or a new face?  Or some type of new fulfillment? In my thinking, this hackneyed admonishment should be banned.

What if I’m comfortable with my current — aka ‘old’ me? What I if want to keep going in the way that suits me? Why not have an admonishment to keep all the best of the existing ‘you’?

While I have my share of imperfections, there are many parts of my life that I like.  Most aspects work for me and don’t need changing (in my opinion)! 

Goals and Aspirations

Over a lifetime, I’ve made new years resolutions to improve my life and become someone new — and, as a result, a better person. I’ve had intentions and aspirations some of which I still hope to accomplish.

In years past, I frequently decided to lose 10 pounds with a diet that began on new years day.  To my surprise, I usually weighed about the same some twelve months later on December 31 as I did on January 1 when I set the goal! The intention was good but motivation waned after a few weeks.  Since retirement, I lost the 10 pounds, most likely because I no longer had lunches in restaurants or from carbohydrate-loaded trays of tempting sandwiches and treats that came into the office!

Another common goal for me was to increase exercise.  My habit of regular exercise developed when I realized that my body feels better when I move it.  In fairness, I joined the local YM/YWCA in January 1979. My goal was to lose the pregnancy bulges that remained several months after my son’s birth.  This decision marked the beginning of a regular exercise program that I maintained over the years.  Exercise became a lifelong habit.

In my thirties I stopped the nasty habit of smoking — not as a frequently made New Year’s resolution but when I caught a terrible cold and hacking cough.  I was so ill that I couldn’t smoke. I stopped cold turkey because I was sick and not because I wanted to become a new person or have a new beginning. Thank goodness, I never went back to cigarettes.

New Beginnings Can Happen at Anytime

I may sound like a curmudgeon — but why wait until a new year for a new beginning? Most of us make changes when we are ready rather than on a certain date. 

Every day can be a fresh start. We don’t need to say ‘new day –new beginning’. The energy of a new day is a perfect time to start a new habit, learn a new skill or stop doing something harmful.  When a new idea hits, why wait until a new year to try it? Instead, it’s worthwhile to use the energy and excitement of the idea for a new beginning.

Hopes and Dreams

I certainly have hopes and dreams to fulfill in the coming year or years.  After more than seven decades on the planet, I’ve not run out of ideas for improvement but I don’t think I’ll become a new person nor will I reinvent myself.

woman wearing black shirt
New Year — New Beginnings — Hopes & Dreams — photo courtesy of Alex Nemo Hanse on Unsplash

I know that I’ll never arrive at perfection but I keep a running list of goals that pop up in my journals.  Many require a long-term commitment. I may achieve some of these but I have no illusion that I will become a new person once I finish a life goal.

My journey to fulfill new dreams needn’t start on January 1. Rather, it will start when opportunities and choices arise. My own schedule will dictate when I have time and energy for new habits and new activities.

Evaluation and Review

The end of a year is a time when I evaluate and review what happened in the past twelve months. This evaluation consists of perusing journal entries and blog posts. Sometimes I make a timeline to highlight significant events. The year-end evaluation includes a review of my personal manifesto of how to ‘be’ in this world.…hen-you-grow-old/

As another year begins, I’m bringing the best of my existing — aka old —  self into the new year. I won’t abandon my current interests to reach for new possibilities.  I don’t want to become someone new.    I hope my future is full of new dreams and, in the fulness of time, I’ll embrace each of these with confidence and hope.

Thanks for reading this blog post.  My wish for each reader is that you realize your hopes and dreams — whenever the time is right for a new beginning!


8 Replies to “New Year — New You?”

  1. You are correct in your philosophy of not making resolutions. As you know there were several challenges facing me when we relocated to a small Island on the west coast, and we all had to make adjustments during the epidemic. My goal is always to be helpful, friendly and kind. the rest is fitted in where possible.XXX

    1. Joy,
      From what I know of your past, you are a model for adjusting to big life changes whether it’s dealing with widowhood, establishing businesses, moving halfway around the globe to a new country and, most recently, moving across Canada to your new island home. You have incredible flexibility and always make adjustments with style and grace.
      I wish you the very best for 2022!

  2. I completely agree with and endorse your approach. I wrote something in a similar vein a few days ago but you express it more eloquently. I also read an article yesterday where it pointed out that if we are to make resolutions then they must come from within when we are proud of who we are, otherwise we may simply be falling for the media hype of a new and better me and at which point we have to query whether or not the resolution is therefore based on some degree of self-loathing.

    1. The idea of resolutions seems that something about oneself needs fixing. While everyone can use a fix here and there, let’s be happy with ourselves and leave fixing for the moments when it’s necessary.
      Happy New Year to you!

  3. I agree! I’ve started enough diets on “Mondays” to know the time to eat right is now. I do think it’s good people make an effort to be better in some way when a new year starts; however, I so wholeheartedly agree that each day is a new beginning and the best time for action. I also like the idea to finish something that was started rather than taking on another new thing. Enjoy your day!

    1. I have many aspirations that will take years to finish. Why make more resolutions just to overload ourselves with guilt about projects or ambitions that we must abandon to make room for something new? I don’t endorse staying with a project or habit that no longer brings joy. I abandon things that don’t work and I don’t need to wait for January 1 as a date to stop!
      Happy New Year to you and your family!

  4. Couldn’t agree more x

    1. Let’s agree to stay with aspects of our ‘old’ selves that work for us!
      Happy New Year!

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