Welcome to January and welcome to my 2022 series of encouragement posts.
Even though the changing of the year is a fairly arbitrary thing, January 1 is as good a day as any to take a step toward something you want. And I am going to be here all month to encourage you to be kind to yourself as you figure out the steps you want to take to build your fitness, wellness, or mindfulness habits.
If you are making changes in this area of your life, please feel free to join me and to collect your gold stars for your efforts all month. We are all in this together, whether we are just starting out or if we have long established practices and habits. Making changes can be challenging (and non-linear) and it’s good to remind yourself that you aren’t alone in facing those challenges.
Now that I’ve explained myself, onto today’s topic:
As you may have guessed by the title of this post, I am not a fan of the ‘New You!’ narrative that pops up all over the place this time of year.
I may be overthinking* it but the ‘new you’ thing gives me a bad feeling.
Obviously, if you find the phrase inspiring, forge ahead. But, to me, the idea that you need to become a new person in order to add enjoyable things to your life, or to subtracting things that no longer serve you, is a bit weird. It feels like there is something wrong with the current you.
SPOILER: THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THE CURRENT YOU.
And I don’t want you to start this new year with the feeling that you are some how less than, that you are a project, or that you need fixing. None of that is true.
You, just like all of us, are doing the best you can with the resources you have. If you want things to be different, if you need more time, space, fitness, energy, mindfulness, or whatever, I want you to be able to make changes that let you have those things but I don’t want you to think that you need to be a different person in order to have them.
With slow and steady effort, and a lot of self-compassion, you can change your routines, your systems, and the necessary parts of your schedule, and reshape your days so they serve you better.
Making those changes may alter your self-perception, add layers of confidence and skill, and may bring different aspects of your personality to the forefront, but I like to think of all of that as an expansion of your current self rather than becoming a new person.
And when you think of those changes in terms of expansion, it means every little thing about the process counts. Every time you try, it matters, even if those attempts don’t pan out. You can celebrate your efforts in every direction.
Whether you jumped into your January plans or if you are in your pajamas getting your mind wrapped around what you might do this month, I’m proud of you.
There are a lot of thoughts, small steps, and stages in making changes, no matter how committed we are to them, and when we learn to celebrate all of those thoughts, steps, and stages, we are encouraged to try, to try again, and to keep going.
Here is your gold star for your efforts today.
*Overthinking *is* one of my superpowers so I may as well lean into it, hey?