“I will work out more this year. I won’t eat so much sugar. I’ll drop a few pounds and change my hair– I’ll actually be pretty, not just same old me. I’ll have a gorgeous boyfriend and land an awesome internship and every piece of my life will fall into place. The clock just has to strike midnight.” Sound familiar?
With the New Year comes a lot of expectation. We place unreasonable goals in the horizon of our newfound sense of purpose, goals that are humanly impossible to achieve all in the course of a year, at least for most of us. We promise ourselves that all of our problems will be solved with the change of one number and we will be happy. But guess what? The New Year done the usual way is not the answer to our problems.
Happiness is fleeting. It is far healthier to be content– with who you are, the life you live, and the people you surround yourself with– than to be happy. If you’re happy all the time, you appreciate it less. It becomes less of a gift and more of the same old daily routine. If you’re content, you can experience periods of happiness, and they are beautiful, precious moments that keep you moving forward, waiting for that beautiful gift to come again. Happiness is important, but it is not everything. Strive to be grateful for the good in your life and do your best to sit peacefully with the things that can’t change.
And then there’s the concept of beauty. We are all beautiful in our unique ways, and a New Year is not going to give you a dramatic makeover (unless, of course, you go the plastic surgery route). You will find that feeling you crave of being beautiful if you show kindness to yourself, and to your image in the mirror. The day you stop critiquing your reflection and instead tell yourself you look hot as hell in that outfit is the day you start to feel beautiful. This New Year, practice self love and find your own beauty.
Lastly, there comes the notion of health. The New Year is a great motivation for making positive changes in your life for mental and physical health. However, if you are solely focused on losing weight or refusing to exercise in a healthy way, you will not feel good about your body or your health. Try a 21 day yoga challenge, push yourself (gently) to gain strength and endurance, or encourage yourself to try a new kind of physical activity. Eat intuitively rather than follow a strict diet, cook with friends or family, and experiment with different teas if you want to make changes to your eating habits in a healthy way. The key to health is balance. You can get down to your “ideal” dress size and weight and still feel incredibly insecure if you don’t have balance in your health routine.
And so, my friends, this New Year, you are still you. That’s a good thing! The world needs you and your uniqueness, so don’t change the person you are. If you really want to change something, be a little kinder to yourself; find things to be grateful for in your life and strive to mend the pieces that are broken, but know that change takes time; find balance in your life and don’t place too much value in appearance. The best change comes from a place of self-love and empathy for others. This New Year, be content, confident, and balanced, but most importantly, don’t forget to be you.