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New Year, New You?

We hear that mantra all over the place: “New Year, New You.” We create new resolutions for how we are going to become better, smarter, and different as the clock passed midnight. We are going to lose weight, stop a bad habit, or get into a new relationship. For many, the new year marks a new beginning for hopes to nurture and grow.

I don’t know about you, but no matter how many resolutions I make and want to accomplish this year, I didn’t wake up a totally different person. Each year as the calendar changes from one year to the next, we hope that the page turning is more than symbolic. We hope we wake up with motivation, contentment, and new knowledge that will help us easily accomplish our goals. Sometimes, it works. But for most of us, it’s not quite that simple. It’s just a new date on the calendar with the same me and some lofty goals.

But does it have to be the same you tackling these new resolutions? I’m not saying I have the magic answer that will get you to the gym or all of a sudden think optimistically or be able to have the skills to land a new job. What I do know is that if you want something to be different with your life—a new inner monologue, letting go of past resentment, or changing a behavior—sometimes it takes more than just you. It can be scary to do on your own; perhaps it can even be intimidating. If this sounds like you, I encourage you to reach out to a therapist or pastor to help you get connected with someone who is skilled in walking that journey with you. You don’t have to be alone as you face the unknown mountains and dreams you see ahead.

A lot of times we need someone with a fresh perspective or knowledge of other resources and skills to teach us something or help us look at something from a different angle. These people in our lives help us reexamine the situation from all angles to help determine a well-rounded plan to work towards our resolutions. Perhaps it’s even helpful for someone to walk with you on the journey as you dig to the root of why the resolution you’ve made for years is still so hard to accomplish. Often times our resolutions are less about the actual goal and more about the deeper thing the goal represents.

So as you begin to plan your resolutions for this new year, I encourage you to set attainable goals, find a cheerleader as you strive towards your hopes, and seek out a pastor or therapist who can provide resources and insight on how to walk through this journey. The change won’t happen overnight when the clock strikes midnight. But I have hope for this new year and our new ways to approach our dreams.

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