This post may come across as cynical but my intention is to give you a hope that goes beyond January 1st.
“A New Year, a new me”- signed the complacent optimist
“A new year, a new me” is the favoured slogan in this season and whilst it’s optimistic it is awfully idealistic. I was once charmed by the euphoria of the statement, crossing over into every year clinging unto those words believing that the New Year would somehow by magic give me everything that the preceding year failed to give me. So if in the old year I failed to realise my potential then I would certainly realise my potential in the New Year because of course that was the point of a New Year right? To renounce every failed decision in the old year and then hop, skip and jump into another year believing that everything will just fall into place simply because it is a new year. We definitely cleave to the New Year like we would a magic lamp (cue Aladdin) rubbing it on the 31st of December and expecting instantaneous results on the 1st of January but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
January 1st is just as magical as June 1st (I just chose a random month lool ) and there is nothing remotely magical about June 1st (except of course if this is your birthday) meaning there is nothing remotely special about January 1st either. So to think that everything changes on this day just because it marks the first day of the first month of the new year is a tad naïve. The sad reality for a lot of us is that nothing changes but the date. We lead our lives the exact same way we did the preceding year whilst proclaiming “new year, new me”. One has to start questioning whether “new you” actually exists because by February 14th (I was going to say January 3rd but I wanted to be as optimistic as possible) we start to look a lot like our old selves again. Of course our experiences aren’t identical but the general pattern is, we make New Year’s resolutions and then break them as quickly as we make them (I’ve stopped making resolutions on the 1st of January for this reason.) For instance, we set diet plans and then devour the next chocolate bar that we see and then call it a cheat day to make ourselves feel better, we set career objectives but then allow timidity to stunt our progress or we give up before even trying because the risks attached to going after the careers we want, frighten us and so by February all our new year’s resolutions are a distance memory and the euphoria that we felt begins to wane.
I mentioned that I’ve stopped making New Year’s resolutions in early January and that’s because I found out that when I did set goals I hardly ever made it till the end of January. Last year, I set goals in February because I wanted to take the time to ponder on the direction I wanted my life to go and it worked. I wasn’t disappointed by the end of the year because I had achieved most of my short – medium term goals. It was that year I stopped allowing myself to be deceived by the allure of a new year and just work harder.
My point is, don’t be charmed by the New Year, be moved by it. The danger in seeing January 1st as magical is that we become complacent and one thing I have learnt in my 23 years of living is that the hustle never ceases. The change that you want to see this New Year won’t just happen because it’s another new year; you have got to put in the work. You have got to set goals and meet them. You have got to settle it in your heart that you will make the most delicious jug of lemonade when life throws you lemons. You have got to stop believing that if you rub the magic lamp, everything will fall into place. There is no magic to the New Year, there’s just you.
Love Cris x
p.s Happy New Year Folks. Shine bright like diamonds.
p.s.s I’m looking forward to what this year has in store for ThePromisciousPen!