New Year….Improved You!

The saying is, “new year, new you” – but you can’t change who you are in a day. Try out, “new year, improved you” or, “new year, new mindset,” or even, “new year, still growing.” You are amazing already as you are; but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for improvement. I find when I step out of my comfort zone and give myself new goals, I learn so much about myself. I truly think learning is the secret to life; and feeling motivated and inspired. Growth can happen all year long; but January and the start of a new year always feels a little extra motivational. Here are some things I like to think about when I set new year’s goals (not resolutions). 

Focus on Growth

Focusing on growing who we are, rather than changing all at once, immediately gives us a step in the right direction. We are awesome as we are, to change everything about us would be a disservice to ourselves and the people that love us. However, if we grow, we allow ourselves to become better versions of ourselves. We can build on the positive thoughts and productive characteristics we have through consistency and action. Every time we set our alarm to wake up and move our bodies, we are doing something useful. Next, we can add to that, eating a healthy meal after our workout. As we learn, make changes, and grow we are able to better serve ourselves and those around us. 

Identify Areas for Improvement

In order to evolve, we must first identify which areas we would like to see growth in. This could be anything – physical, mental, emotional, intellectual, even practical. There is a way to improve every aspect of our lives through careful planning and deliberate action. I recommend only picking a few areas to work on at a time, especially if these areas are big things that will take time and ongoing effort. Lifestyle alterations, such as increased fitness and a dedication to healthy eating are extremely popular in the new year. Remember, even if your body looks different, you are still the same person at your core as you have always been.

I love to choose one thing at a time and after twenty-one days see if it’s improved. In 2021 I decided to meditate every day in the new year. I set aside twenty minutes daily to be still and watch my breath. So happy it worked, I felt so much better and I was able to keep it up. Next, I’m moving on to limiting my wine intake. I’ll mediate before the hour when I think I need a glass of wine most and see if one positive change can improve another area of my life.

Create a Plan

The next step is creating a plan. While you can certainly do this in your mind, writing it down is an effective way to organize your thoughts. You can then hang your plan somewhere in your home where you will see it regularly, to help prevent you from slipping into old patterns. Your plan should be clear and full of decisive and tangible action. For example, rather than saying you’re going to eat healthily, note what steps you will take to achieve that, such as meal prepping, no longer buying junk food, and/or cutting out sugary packaged foods. Instead of saying you will educate yourself in global news, state the sources you will be looking at, when, and for how long. Set yourself up for success with a game plan that is clear and concise. 

Changing the language we use when talking about changing ourselves is a great way to focus on the positive. “New year, new you” suggests that change can be made instantly, but the path of growth isn’t linear. There will be mistakes and missteps along the way – and they’re all a part of the journey. This year, focus on becoming a better version of yourself. Your life has shaped you into the person you are meant to be – you simply get to continue to improve yourself year after year!

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