Tuesday, 2 January 2018

New Year, New You?

I try not to buy into the New Year and sense of imminent change and endless possibility that comes with it, but like a lot of you, I succumb to resolutions and goal setting.

I love a good goal, task, resolution, basically anything I can tick off a list. It gives me a sense of achievement and accomplishment. And to be honest I've been very excited to start using my new 2018 journal which I've tailor made to help me make small, everyday improvements to my mental health. So Happy New Year, here's to my new planner.

But on New Year's Eve as I sat down to write my 2018 resolutions, I realised they were the same as the goals I had set last year.
  • Improve body confidence i.e. for the love of God exercise and stop biting your nails.
  • Make more of an effort with friends i.e. please stop dropping off the face of the planet and start messaging people back.
  • Save money i.e. stop buying yourself gifts when you're sad, stop spending all your money on books, and no ordering subscription boxes (not a single one!).
  • Question negative thoughts i.e. it's not possible for everyone to hate me, because I don't know everyone in the world now, do I? 
I hadn't achieved what I'd set out to in 2017. Change didn't last, it came in spurts before petering out. I quit the gym, I bit all of my nails down to the skin, I did not reach my savings goal. I felt like a failure. What's the point of making the same resolutions every year if I don't get anywhere?

New Year, New Me

I always harp on about how there's no quick-fix to mental health problems. There's no magic cure, no pill, no meditation that will resolve everything forever. It doesn't work like that. And as all of my resolutions relate to and impact on my mental health, they should be the same.  

Similarly life, like resolutions to improve my life, is constant, it's ongoing. So why shouldn't my resolutions continue? 

Sure, I wish I did more last year to work on my goals, but everyday, not just every year, is a fresh chance to do this. As disheartening as it was to reflect on how I hadn't reached my goals or kept my promises, making improvements and changes to your life shouldn't be a once-off event. You have to keep a change going forever, otherwise it never changed. 

So I'm adding a new resolution to the list this year. The new and improved 2018 model Zoe will try to be less hard on herself. Yes, it's healthy to set goals and inspire yourself to make positive changes, but so what if they take time? 

Real change doesn't happen overnight. 

This, like all my resolutions, is a process. 

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