Every single year, on the 1st January, I make myself some huge promises. I’m going to exercise more, eat better, stop biting my nails, be less anxious, do all of the things I didn’t tick off my ‘to-do list’ for last year. And, within three weeks, I’ve given up all hope. I feel like a complete failure. I put myself down for another few weeks before life just goes back to normal until another New Year rolls around. Sound familiar? If so, you’re not alone.
In fact, a study last year found that most people will abandon any New Year’s Resolutions by 19th January – just under three weeks. But what if we flipped the script? What if we didn’t fall into the trap of ‘New Year, New Me’ and instead opted for ‘New Year, Happy Me.’ Instead of trying to change every single thing at once about ourselves, hoping we’ll wake up a brand new person on January 1st, why don’t we focus on something far more important?
New Year, Happy Me
Every year I beat myself up for not being perfect and not achieving all of my New Year’s Resolutions, despite starting with the best will in the world. I forget to be kind to myself and to accept that I am only human. We constantly search for things that will make us happier:
When I lose 10 pounds, I’ll be happier.
When I get that promotion, I’ll be happier.
When I have run a marathon, I’ll be happier.
But what if we made ourselves happier first? Imagine what we could achieve if we were driven by self-love? When we care for ourselves and we have the confidence in ourselves, that’s when things really start to happen. We feel happier, so we’re more likely to want to move our bodies and eat well. We feel more confident and so we’re more likely to ask for that promotion. We feel inspired and so we’re more likely to apply for that marathon spot. It seems as though we’ve been doing things the wrong way around for decades…
Let’s Flip the Script
It was this realisation – reinforced by this incredible TED Talk by Shawn Achor – that has flipped the script for me this year. I don’t want to be a ‘New Me’ this year, I want to be a ‘Happy Me.’ My goal is to look after myself better, be kinder to myself, and practice self-love. It’s why I set up the Free 31 Days of Wellness Challenge recently on Facebook, to help people work towards this too. As soon as I opened the doors, people came flooding in with comments like “I NEED to lose weight to feel happy,” and I realised that this change in mindset could make such a big difference. I’m hoping we can learn together that happiness comes first before everything else falls into place.
So, will you join me in my stand against ‘New Year, New Me’ and opt for ‘New Year, Happy Me’ instead?
All my love – and best wishes for a happier you this year,