New year, new you, right? Isn’t that the idea?
And surely, with a new decade, the magic of this time of year is magnified.
It’s such a common idea around New Years; the thought that with one magical date we can press the restart button. With one day, we can let go of all the parts of ourselves we want to say goodbye to and add all the parts of ourself that we want to become.
The idea of complete ‘newness’ in people is one that fascinates me. And I have to say that this year, I have learned that not many parts of myself are in fact ‘new’. Instead, they are parts that I have forgotten and subsequently remembered when circumstances brought them back to me.
I’ve already written a few times this year about the joy of remembering parts of myself that I left behind. The importance of taking stock of what you’ve done with your life so far, recognising the worth of what you have done with your life.
This means that when I hear about New Years resolutions, sometimes I feel sad.
I feel sad because, in their hurry to make themselves into a better person, people leave parts of themselves behind that are precious. And, as we all surely know by now, you can never really manage to leave yourself behind. You always end up taking yourself with you.
So I want to suggest a different idea this New Years.
Rather than making a list of what you want to change, make a list of parts of yourself that you are glad to have and keep with you into the new decade.
And once you’ve done that, look closely. See who you are. And set goals based on who you are, not just who you want to become.
I have said this several times this year, but it stands saying again.
No-one else in the world can claim to be everything that you are.
Your value lies in the fact that you were made by the God of the universe as a unique, precious individual. No-one else in the world is made exactly like you.
So instead of making this New Years a time of pressure to change, make it a time of celebrating what has gone by, and looking forward to what will happen next.
Happy New Year!