Why I’m not having a new me for new year

This time of year is always a difficult one. We’ve just got through Christmas, and we are presented with the new year. A moment filled with, what feels like, open possibilities and hope. It brings with it the concept of fresh starts, new chapters… and my most hated phrase ‘new year, new me’.


It hasn’t always been this way. I can still remember the new notepad I received for Christmas 10 years ago. I filled the first few pages with all the things I would do, or not do, as the new year's new version of me. A better me. Yet, what looked like a positive list of goals, actually left me with increased anxiety, overwhelmed by a multitude of unrealistic and unachievable aims. The pressure put upon me meant that I would fail, and fail hard, just a few weeks into the year. 

Then, a few years ago, I realised that I didn’t need a new me. It wasn’t my voice telling me that I needed to change. I was trying to change because it is what I had come to believe we did at this time of year. As if the only day you can embark upon any form of self-improvement or change of habits is the first day of the year. It was everywhere I looked.

You will be met by a barrage of ‘new year, new me’ slogans this month. That is one thing I can guarantee. From the perfect Instagram post to the article in the magazine, and even friends and family. But that is their choice. It is very easy to become overwhelmed with the social expectation to have big plans for the year ahead. But I am here to tell you that it is perfectly ok to just be trying to get through today. To be learning every day about yourself, and from the things that have happened.

As humans, we learn and grow from our mistakes and experiences. By erasing these and rebooting as a new version of ourselves we are saying that unless perfect, we are not accepted. Well, I have news, nobody is perfect. We are not iPads requiring iOS updates, or eventually being swapped for the latest model. We are here to stay and grow. We live long and full lives, not just one year to then be forgotten.

This year I am going against the narrative. New year means only one thing, the earth has been around the sun once again. Just because everyone else is making resolutions does not mean that you need to. It’s ok to stay who you are.

January tips (and longer if you get into them)

If, like me, you do not want to be around the whole new year new me hype, these are some things that work for me;

  1. Social media mute
    Go ahead and mute that person or company that is posting content you don’t feel comfortable with, or is causing you anxiety. They will never know you did it!
  2. Change the subject
    If you find your family or friends are starting conversations that could be harmful, become ok with saying that you would rather not talk about it.
  3. Boundaries
    Your boundaries are created to protect you and your values. Know when it is time to protect yourself. 
  4. Positive resolutions
    Not all New Years' resolutions are bad, far from it. But if you do want to make some changes, keep them small. Instead of thinking about what is wrong, think about what you need from 2023.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Derby, Derbyshire, DE1 1UL
Written by First Steps ED
Derby, Derbyshire, DE1 1UL

Laura Johnstone is a one of First Steps ED's trainee therapists and befrienders. Laura and the team work throughout the Midlands and further afield, to provide support for individuals and families affected by eating difficulties and disorders.

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