The New Year is well known as a time for change, for bettering ourselves, for starting anew. ’New year, new me’ is a lovely sentiment – but it comes with a whole lot of stress. New Year’s resolutions, as most people currently do them, cause a whole lot of unnecessary pressure. We feel like we should reinvent ourselves and become that ideal version of us that’s always been in our heads. We feel like we have to do all the things we’ve always been meaning to do to become a better person, all at once. So when January first rolls around, we’re left with a to do list that’s miles long and mostly meaningless. We say to ourselves, on our quest to be a whole new person: ‘I need to go for a run everyday, start reading books, learn a new language, message my friends more often, be more grateful, eat healthier, be happier.’

As I’m sure you know from experience, this ‘brand new me’ mentality is not the right way to approach resolutions. It just doesn’t work. It’s overwhelming, not specific enough, and all too easy to give up on. I came across this lovely quote that I think perfectly sums up how we should be approaching New Years.

Instead of thinking about solving your whole life, just think about adding additional good things. One at a time. Just let your pile of good things grow’

One reason I think this quote is great is it highlights the importance of small, achievable, concrete goals. Focusing on on just one little change at a time is far easier and far less daunting than trying to turn your life around in a day. Progress may seem slow, but over time it’ll all add up – your pile of good things will keep growing and growing. Achieving each goal will make you feel great and motivate you to keep going. It’s also helpful to make sure that your goals are measurable – that is, you have a way of telling if you’re meeting them or not. So instead of trying to be ‘more grateful’, instead you could make your goal ‘spend 5 minutes writing a gratitude diary every night’.

This quote is also great because it acknowledges that growing and changing is a gradual process, that can’t happen all at once. New Years really only has significance because we say it does. We often forget that we have the chance to better ourselves at any time. Every single day that we wake up, we have the choice to make a change.

So this New Year, there won’t be a new me. Maybe ‘New Year, slightly improved me’ would be more accurate. It doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, but I encourage you to adopt this mentality too. Happy New Year!!!!

Kate is a Year 13 student from Canterbury. She enjoys music, languages, sunny days, and a good book.

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