If you’ve already cheated on your resolutions, given up hope for a different kind of year, or are just mad at the new year already, you are not alone. There is so much pressure to become better versions of ourselves with all of the new year new you hype. Change and growth might be just what we need, but perhaps there is a better approach. Maybe this year, instead of being a new you, just work on being the real you.
10 Simple Ways to Redefine “New You” and Take Back Your New Year
1. Look in.
What’s going on in there? We are so hard on ourselves. Recently I chatted with someone who was going through a really hard time. Someone she loved was sick. And while going through all of that hurt, she was mad at herself because she was struggling to clean out her closet. She said she didn’t know why it was so hard to let go. She told me that while she was working on her closet, her voice inside kept saying mean things like, “What’s wrong with you? You’re a loser. Why can’t you just let go?”
She asked me how to fix that. I think she wanted a strategy, but I just wanted to hug her. I looked for the gentle words, the soft advice, but instead I told her the truth … Our inner critics are bitches. This might not be the right time to let go. Maybe instead it’s time to be really good to yourself.
If your inner critic is holding you back, write down everything she says and ask yourself, “would I be this voice to a good friend? Would I ever treat anyone like this?” If the answer is no, don’t accept it for yourself. It takes practice and your inner critic will keep trying, but if you continually reject her and ask your heart what she thinks … that inner voice will start to sound more like the real you.
2. Change your day.
If you want to change your year, start by changing your day. A little bit every day will make a bigger difference than a lot every once in a while. Consistency over intensity.
3. Let it go.
Whatever happened over the last two weeks to derail your efforts, write it down and let it go. You can’t change it, but if you keep holding on, it may prevent you from moving forward.
4. Change something. Anything.
If you want to make a big change in your life but don’t know where to start, change something. This change can be really small. For instance …
- Wake up 5 minutes earlier.
- Eat something different for breakfast.
- Change the picture on your phone or computer.
- Make a new playlist with music you aren’t familiar with.
- Take a different route to work.
5. Look out.
While you work on the inside, notice what’s holding you back on the outside? If it’s too crazy out there, quit.
Do it on your own, or join A Simple Year for 12 months of guided simplicity. If you want to figure out what matters, remove everything that doesn’t.
7. Commit to a challenge.
So what if you didn’t start on January 1st. Start today.
- Whole30™: If you want to learn more about your relationship with food.
- Minimalist fashion challenge Project333™ or the 30-day Minimalism Game: If you want to learn more about your relationship with clothes and other stuff.
8. Ask for help.
Maybe the new you needs a little guidance or bit of non-biased, outside help to connect to the real you. Ask for it. There are so many options both locally and virtually. Most therapists and counselors offer mini-complimentary sessions or brief phone calls so you can see if you are right for each other. If traditional therapy isn’t for you, consider a yoga class, a self-guided retreat, a long walk, or other things that help you work on you.
9. Be in community.
I love our Be More with Less Community and it inspires me to think about my other communities too. I spend time with friends and family and just rejoined a small yoga group to encourage not only more yoga, but more in person connection.
If you aren’t sure where your people are, look for them. Join different groups or ask friends for recommendations. Show up as you. Don’t try to prove yourself or fit in. The more you that you are, the more likely you are to attract the right people for you. At least that’s been my experience. If there’s one thing sharing my life on the internet has taught me it’s that I’m not right for everyone and it’s nice to figure that out sooner rather than later. It makes more room for the right people. My like-hearted people.
10. Make a resolution to listen to your heart.
There are 4 sections in my new book Soulful Simplicity. The sections represent the areas of my life that I’ve changed including:
- Making Me
- Making Space
- Making Time
- Making Love
Each section has a chapter called “Put Your Hands on Your Heart” that invites you to listen to your heart and to take action, to close the gap between inspiration and action. Because when it’s time, it’s time.
As you read the book, I’d like to invite you to make a resolution to listen to your heart. It’s that time of year when we are supposed to resolve to be better, thinner, more productive and other things that we seem to re-resolve every year. What if this year were different? What if this year we rejected all of the ways the outside world tells us that we are supposed to be and instead, decide for ourselves?
Do whatever it takes to create an environment where you have a little time each day to sit quietly to listen to your heart, to the real you, and trust the answers. Only you can give this to you. You deserve this. It’s your way back to love.