The concept of “new year, new me” is somewhat of an alluring fad that has been taken on by the trending masses thanks to its propagation on social media over the past few years.
Whilst New Year’s resolutions are not a “new” thing, there is definitely something inviting about forgetting/forgiving oneself of past transgressions, hitting the reset button and starting the new year on a clean slate.
After all, we’re only human and it feels so much better letting go of the guilt for things we didn’t achieve or stick to in the past year.
But, after 2020, I’m beginning to see things a little differently…
In this article, I want to share my thoughts on 2020 and what it has taught me, why I think the idea of “new year, new me” is outdated and how we should go about bringing in longer-lasting, more meaningful change into our lives in 2021.
The Year That Was 2020
They say that “hindsight is 2020” and boy has the year of our lord 2020 shown/forced the world to reflect on the life choices we make.
When the pandemic constricted the world in its stranglehold back in March, none of us would have expected that our very lives and all our day to day social interactions would be robbed from us without as much as a warning shot.
With what now feels like the second that it takes one to take in a breath, we were banished to our homes (for those of us blessed enough to even have them), millions out of jobs and a “new normal” for us to get our heads around as our world suddenly became a whole lot smaller.
In order to fight this invisible enemy, we all had to (and continue to in some places) go against the very nature of what makes life so special and adjust how we go about living, how we work/secure our financial futures and ultimately, look inside to discover what is most important to us.
I mean, for once, all we had was time…
What 2020 Has Taught Me
This was a year that I’m sure many of us would like to put (rather firmly) in the past as the countdown to 2021 draws nearer, but I’m definitely in the camp of those who will want to use it as a stark reminder of why waiting for the new year to make positive changes is simply too late.
20 things that 2020 has taught me:
- Nothing, absolutely nothing, is a given.
- Life is just too short and time waits for no one so we need to live each day to its fullest.
- Every day is an opportunity to make a significant difference in your life and a difference in those you choose to give your time to.
- The harder (smarter) you work, the luckier you get.
- Appreciate every single thing that we have in this life, especially the little things that we all take for granted.
- The importance of relationships and connecting more deeply with loved ones.
- What true friendship looks like and that you should always check-in with your special people.
- Do something active every day, your health is the ultimate wealth.
- Use challenges in life as a way to grow spiritually and mentally.
- Fear is the absence of knowledge.
- The value of seeing a smile (literally) or making someone smile.
- We are all in this together and part of the human family no matter where we come from, how much we have or what we believe in.
- Never give up on yourself or on others.
- Be adaptive, be flexible and create a life that affords you greater freedom.
- Find enjoyment in every single moment of the “journey” — I will never utter the words “are we there yet?” ever again!
- Be kind. You have absolutely no idea what someone is going through and your kindness might be the 1 thing that makes their day.
- Don’t miss an opportunity to tell your family and friends that you love them.
- The value of a kiss and a warm embrace.
- Patience is most certainly a virtue worth waiting for.
- The immense importance of the selflessness and sacrifice of those that put their lives at risk to protect the greater good.
What has 2020 taught you? Please let me know in the comments below!
It’s Time To Ditch “New Year, New Me” & Do This Instead!
There is no better time than right now.
If 2020 has taught us anything it’s that there is so much in this world that we don’t have control over, but that we have the power to control how we spend our time.
When it comes to making long-lasting, meaningful changes in our lives every day, it’s a lot easier said than done.
But, there are a few key points that I want to share that will help you stick to achieving your goals long after the euphoria/bravado of ringing in a new year fades away.
Failing To Plan is Planning To Fail
How is it possible to achieve anything in this life without a solid plan to follow?
Often, resolutions are these massive ideas to make £10,000/m or lose a few stone that are backed up with a head full of bubbly and the excitement of starting over again on a fresh canvas.
Facts are that most people fail to follow through because they don’t have a map to plot the course forward.
When you are able to break down bigger targets into more bite-sized ones with an actionable strategy of just how you’re going to go about reaching each milestone, it makes things a whole lot easier.
Write down daily/weekly/monthly goals and back it up with an action plan that is measurable and keeps you going with the small wins necessary to see you through to the bigger prize.
In order for this to work, however, it is something that you’ll need to be tracking and keeping tabs on every single day, which is the precursor to…
Making it A Habit
Every single little thing that we gravitate towards in this life is the direct result of a habit.
Forming good habits is all about taking a positive step each and every day in the right direction — it can take anywhere from 18 to 254 days for a person to form a new habit.
Nothing in life comes easy and you are doing yourself a massive disservice by thinking that it’ll be easier next year (this is a mindset habit that needs adjusting like yesterday!)
Want to manage your weight? Start today!
Looking to get fit and healthy? Start today!
Thinking of a side hustle to earn more? Start today!
We are creatures of habit and when we substitute the bad with the good we can almost immediately start feeling better about the change we’re making.
But, simply planning, doing and hoping that we’ll stick with it is not enough to see the majority of us through.
For this, you also need to…
Make Your Reason To Succeed Bigger Than Your Excuse Not To
This is a personal motto that has helped me immensely throughout the years whenever I felt like throwing in the towel.
It requires a certain level of introspection to unearth what you’re fighting for and a realistic — or perhaps even a brutally honest — look at what the consequences of you not succeeding will mean and writing it all down.
For instance, not getting in shape or taking your health seriously might mean that you will die young, or won’t be able to support and look after your kids, or will place a heavy burden on your spouse.
It’s definitely not a feel-good exercise, but that’s the whole point.
The objective in writing down and visualizing the consequences is not to scare you, but to galvanize you into immediate action and to serve as a stern reminder of what making excuses might cost you.
With this, you will have a strong enough reason/s to not fail, but we all have our off days when it’s easier to forget and that’s when you’ll need to…
Get Support From an Accountability Partner
2020 was one of the most challenging years to date, but I can safely say that I was able to “get by with a little help from my friends.”
There is no denying the power of establishing support structures to help keep you on the straight and narrow.
This may come in the form of an accountability group, going to regular meetings, enlisting the help of a coach or simply a good friend/family member who will keep you to task — basically someone who will see through your sh!t;)
It’s one thing to let yourself down and another entirely when you disappoint those closest to you because you don’t stick to your word.
There are also a bunch of cool apps to keep you motivated for that extra boost when you’re by yourself.
Get Going After The Life of Your Dreams Today!
If you follow these steps you’ll be well on your way to making a positive impact in your life without losing the drive we often do when things inevitably start piling up.
Procrastination is the ultimate enemy of success.
2020 has shown us that we can simply not wait for the perfect time, the perfect situation or the most optimal circumstances to change the course of our lives for the better.
Whatever success looks like to you, everything can change in the blink of an eye, so please start today!
Nothing comes from nothing.
Success is an accumulation of countless hours, blood, sweat and tears that we owe to ourselves to sacrifice and live a life without regrets.
I sincerely hope that you enjoyed this article as much as I did writing it — it has been a cathartic experience, to say the least — and it’s my greatest wish for you to use this as a springboard to get going after everything you want to live your best life right now!
I’d love to know what you’re planning to start making changes in your life so feel free to leave me a comment below.
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