Lifestyle · Mental Health

New Beginnings

What the New Year means to me

Not, “New Year, New Me“. Not “New Year’s Resolutions“. Not trying to fix every “bad” thing in your life. Not going 100mph into every goal and dream you’ve ever had then inevitably burning out.

Nope. No. Uh-uh.

For me, the New Year means a clean slate. A fresh start. It doesn’t mean that overnight my life (or myself) will suddenly be anything other than what it was before. It doesn’t mean I am now somehow allowed to work towards goals and my dream life. No, I’ve already been doing that all year (in 2018). And I will continue to do that in 2019.

Instead, it means that I have hit a point where I get to make a new set of 365 days count for something. I can set new goals, or alter the ones I already had. I can see what I can do each month or each season included in this new year. I can plan and plot with self-awareness, self-love, and intention to make another year count.

It’s not like I believe that this year, in particular, is “my year“. Oh, no! I feel excited about every year. I work hard and make changes and set goals and plan every year. I see things through, every year. To perfection? No. But I do what I set out to, for the most part, and as best I can.

Anyone who expects the New Year to mean they will only just now begin caring about themselves and their lives, and thus will work towards goals and an idea that they have of how their life should be, will be disappointed. Your motivation will burn out.

However, if you are someone who believes in New Beginnings (not New Years), then you will do just fine. For a New Beginning can happen throughout the year at any time you like. Your new birthday year, new season, new month, new week, new day! At any given point, you can set new goals, try out new habits, tackle new challenges, and reignite your motivation. NOT JUST ON A NEW CALENDAR YEAR!

Waiting for a new calendar year means you don’t really push for newness. It means you think the new year will give you something. I’m sorry, it won’t. Only you can make things happen. Only you can get yourself motivated and then take action. And you can do this whenever you want.

So, in the New Year, think about newness as a whole, like I am. Think of it as a new beginning, but don’t think of it as a magical new year where everything will suddenly be different.

When can you get a new beginning?

  • On your birthday
  • New season (Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter)
  • New month
  • New week
  • New day
  • New job
  • New house
  • New hobby
  • New phone
  • New pet
  • New routine
  • New room
  • New goal
  • New dream
  • New academic year

New things to implement into your life:

  • New books
  • New yoga poses
  • New fitness routine
  • New writing challenges
  • New friends
  • New hobbies
  • New skills (new language, art, sport, practice life skill etc.)
  • New trips
  • New shoes (hey, a new pair of shoes once in a while didn’t hurt anyone!)
  • New pet
  • New job
  • New food
  • New restaurants
  • New activities and experiences
  • New mental health care practices

New ideas to live by:

  • No longer giving energy to your weaknesses, limitations, and self-doubt
  • No longer worrying about the ifs, buts, or maybes
  • Do what makes you happy and feel alive
  • No longer justifying your choices or how you choose to live your life to anyone else
  • No longer giving so much energy to social media, false lifestyles, fads, and trends
  • Looking after yourself (mind, body, spirit) in a healthy, wholesome way – not by any rules set by others, no must-dos, trends, or crazes; just treat your mind and body with awareness and love, simple!

What not to do this new year:

  • Copy what others are doing
  • Expecting a dramatic life change
  • Forcing too much change too fast
  • Tiring yourself out by doing too much
  • Putting pressure on the New Year to be something big
  • Start dissecting your entire life, looking for issues to fix
  • Jeopardise your mental wellbeing by juggling or expecting too much
  • Copy what that YouTuber or Instagram influencer said to do (or is doing)
  • Try to squeeze yourself into this “perfect life” box that doesn’t exist

So, to summarise. Don’t look at the New Year as a magical portal into a new life, or a new you. I’m sorry, but you’re still you. Only with intention and self-awareness will anything ever really change for you. Then when self-awareness meets action, you’re on to success, my friend!

Forget the New Years Resolution of losing 10kg or reading 100 books. If you were already working towards these things, and they’re a natural habit etc., then fine – go you! But don’t expect drastic changes in your life just because you wish for it on January 1st! Change takes time and work and patience with yourself. Change takes trial and error, failure and resilience, bravery and discipline – never forget that, and you won’t give up.

This New Years, just promise (yes, promise, not resolve) to just be aware of yourself and your life. Promise to love yourself so much that you don’t beat yourself up. You don’t eat that junk food. You don’t skip that workout. You don’t buy that clothing haul. You don’t neglect that project. You don’t isolate yourself. And you don’t give up on your dream life.


Good luck, and happy New Year, all!

xx, S. R. Crawford


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