An Argument Against “New Year, New Me” Mentality

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If you are anything like me, you love a new clean slate. A new year is exciting and enticing. I am a sucker for new journals and calendars and spring cleaning and inspirational quotes. I am even guilty of saying the phrase, “New Year, New Me.” *cringe* However, this new year is different. Can we just cut the bullshit?

Seriously, I’m talking to you. Put the diet book down and stop writing your New Year’s resolutions.

Take a deep breath.

Simply be relieved that you lived through yet another year of a global pandemic.

The mere fact that you are living and breathing and reading this article means you are at a place where millions of people who lost their lives would give everything to be.

I have a New Year’s resolution for you: Let yourself off the hook.

You did not accomplish as much as you wanted to this year? Again, GLOBAL PANDEMIC. Yes, many of us were able to work from home and have a little more “freedom” with our time, but do not be misled. This was NOT a year off. This was a year with heightened anxiety, forced adaptions of the “new normal” and a constant surge of new information (vaccines and variants and masks oh my!)

Your body and your mind have essentially been stuck in fight or flight mode since the pandemic began. This stress response has been active for so much longer than humans are evolutionarily equipped to handle. This was not a year to be the most productive and creative version of ourselves, because our bodies simply had other priorities.

If you gained weight this year, so what? You survived and your body took care of you.

So, let us abandon all hope that a new year will fix all of our problems and we will suddenly become the best version of ourselves forever and ever, amen.

That being said, I still am a sucker for fresh starts. So, along with my one New Year’s resolution of letting ourselves off the hook, I have some ideas:

Can we let 2022 be a year of just recovering, resting and reconnecting?

Can we be the kindest version of ourselves to ourselves? Truly, that’s the only way we can be kind to others and start to heal this broken world.

Can 2022 be the year where vulnerability is celebrated? That we are not afraid to admit we are messy and broken and imperfect? Because we never were perfect anyway.

Can 2022 be the year where when asked “How are you?” we don’t just say “fine?” Can we be real and take that question as an opportunity to level with our fellow humans?

Can 2022 be the year where we finally see through the facade of social media, understanding it’s only a highlight reel, and maybe start sharing our perfectly imperfect humanness?

Can this new year be not one of taking on new things, but letting go of things that no longer serve us? The jobs we hate, the relationships that don’t make us happy anymore, and the diets that make us crazy?

Can we let 2022 not be an effort to go back to “normal”? Normal wasn’t working anyway.

Can 2022 be a year where we let ourselves sleep and eat and dance and laugh and love and rest and just… be?

Can 2022 be the year of human BE-ings and not human DO-ings?

I think it can be.

I have hope for 2022. So pop the champagne, raise a toast, and just celebrate that you made it this far. Let yourself off the hook, and please, for the love of all that is holy, put down those damn New Year’s resolutions.

natalie.merrill77@gmail.com

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Natalie Merrill

Natalie Merrill

natalie.merrill77@gmail.com

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