I’ve never been a big fan of the whole “New Year. New Me” annual bandwagon. Not that I don’t admire the optimism; I do. I’m all for self-improvement and renewed dedication to being the best version of ourselves. But if we’re truly being honest, do any of us actually want or need a whole “New Me”? That’s an awful big project. What a massive undertaking. And what sort of plan would you be following for an entire new you, anyway? I feel exhausted just thinking about it.
But the main reason I don’t like to proclaim “New Year, New Me”, is that I really like myself. I don’t want a whole new me. I want to keep being the same me, but maybe just a little bit better.
The same me, but with more self-awareness, so that I completely consciously make the smartest decisions for myself and my family instead of acting out of old patterns or habits.
The same me, but more fully present. Less on my phone or in front of a screen. More fully engaged with the people right in front of me.
The same me, but using more emotional intelligence to navigate all of my relationships, so that every person I encounter is getting the truest, most authentic version of myself.
The same me, but more willing to disappoint others so that I always remain true to myself.
The same me, but with a heart that opens up just a little bit wider, making a little more space for every dimension of love in my life.
The same me, but with my heart a little softer. More compassion and more empathy. More aware of the strugglers in my life and the little ways I can make them feel less alone.
The same me, but always learning new ways. For everything. The way I think. The way I process. The way I do things. The way I interact with people. The way I handle things.
The same me, but less inclined to think I have all the answers and more inclined to adopt a new point of view or a more open, educated mind. How I see it is not how it is; it’s just how I see it. There are, indeed, new ways to think that I have not yet learned.
The same me, but with a renewed commitment to holding everything with an open hand so that I flow more easily with life. This applies to people, relationships, circumstances, problems…When I hold it all loosely, it’s easier for God and The Universe to work it all out for my good.
The same me, but rededicated to the daily practices that nurture my heart, mind and soul: Meditation, journaling, gratitude, prayer… It makes a difference in every part of my life. When I get lazy about it, everything else suffers.
The same me, but making a concerted effort to live more awake to social justice issues, more awake to my white privilege and how it impacts the world around me. More committed to getting involved and making a difference, and involving my kids, too. We’ll keep learning to be better citizens of this world and better members of humanity. Together.
The same me, but with a higher prioritization of self-respect. Allowing fewer people to waste my time, waste my goodness, waste my energy–and letting go of them sooner when they do.
The same me, but with a heart that forgives more quickly. There’s no use wasting time and emotional energy on old stories I can’t change. Moving forward with a clean slate is the only way to live in peace. (And an old story is the only kind of story. If it happened 5 minutes ago, it’s an old story.)
The same me, but with renewed commitment and enthusiasm for taking care of my body in every way: Eating better. Drinking less-ish. Moving more. (Drinking less-ish is a thing and I’m pretty sure a lot you reading this appreciate my realistic suggestion. You’re welcome.)
The same me, but saying yes more often to adventure. To opportunities. To celebrations. To more fun and laughter. (Because couldn’t we all use more of these things??)
So that’s it. That’s my plan for 2017. Nothing all that grand, nothing all that new. I really just want to be the same me, but a little bit better. I’m not going to “resolve” to do any of this. But I’m definitely going to try. And I am going to believe this coming year will be just a little bit better than the last.