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New Year Doesn't Mean New You

New Year Doesn't Mean New You

New Year's resolutions are notoriously hard to stick with... and do they really make us feel better?
December 23, 2022 by Henny Rau

It’s that time of year again. Gym memberships, healthy eating plans and crisp new daily planners are part of many of our plans for “new year new me.” However, these New Year's resolutions are notoriously hard to stick with - and do they really make us feel better?

New year doesn’t have to mean a whole new you. 

As you reflect back on the past year and begin to conceptualize how you want to welcome in 2023, consider how you can set New Year's resolutions that won’t leave you feeling worse.

Try putting more emphasis on the conceptual touchstones and the general feelings that you want to cultivate, rather than on militaristic regimens and unattainable lifestyles. The beautiful part about this is that you can’t fail a concept or a feeling. It’s a daily unfolding, rather than a checkbox on a never-ending to-do list. 

Focus on long-proven or timeless practices rather than jumping on fleeting trends. 

Consider what’s already been working for you (or what has felt supportive for you in the past that you want to bring back), and how you can prioritize that this year. Rather than seeking ideas from the external world, look within yourself to uncover what you need to cultivate on your journey to wholeness. Allow this to be a practice of radical restoration - coming back to the fragments of your memory when you have felt your most empowered, aligned and whole.

Lastly, set intentions, not regimens. 

If you had to conceptualize your year, how would it look and feel? For example: think of not necessarily what you should do during your morning routine, but how you want to feel when you wake up. Rather than a disciplined routine, an intention only requires mindful attention, as you allow the practices that support and enhance that intention to shift and grow with you.

If you’re feeling inspired to take this approach this year, here are a few journal prompts to offer further guidance and reflection:

  • When you wake up each morning, what are three emotions that you want to be present in your mind? What does it feel like to embody those emotions as sensations in your body?
  • In what areas of your life are you craving to further express yourself or share creativity? Without worrying what those specific creative outlets could be, can you imagine what it feels like to freely create or express yourself?
  • What would it feel like for your body and mind to be a sanctuary? What does it feel like to feel safe, comfortable and at ease in your own being?
  • What relationships feel most supportive for your growth? Which people in your life enhance the feelings and emotions that you want to foster and cultivate this year?
Helen Rau

Henny Rau

Henny is a coastal California-based writer. When not writing or sipping on Clevr, you can find her exploring trails in the backcountry, paddling into waves or sharing a meal in the garden with friends.