Growth is super important. If you make it to 90 years old without making any effort to develop yourself, well, you’ll be a super wrinkly teenager one day. But like most things, there’s a time and a place to grow to your full potential.
Now it’s December, social media is flooded with memes encouraging us to use the New Year to better ourselves. Lose weight, adopt an exercise routine and set ourselves up for a year so successful we will walk into next January smokin’ hot millionaires.
Worse still, loads of people you went to high school with start popping in your inbox to tell you how perfect you’d be for the “great opportunity” they’re offering. Because selling high-end make-up and bath bombs to your friends and family is definitely going to pay the bills. Avoid the multi-level marketing, kids. Anything with a starter kit you have to fork out £500 is to peered at through a monocle with a great deal of scrutiny.
The point is, the “New Year, New Me” concept has been going strong for years now but for the sake of your own personal growth, it isn’t always healthy to act on it. Let me explain how:
Meaningful Growth Doesn’t Happen Overnight
Caterpillars might have turn into a pile of goo before transforming into a butterfly but at least it takes them less than a month to do it. Getting abs that fast would make the gym a lot more appealing.
The whole idea that the dawning of a New Year will mean you can become a whole different person is a little bit insane if you think about it, logically. Decades of bad habits and unresolved issues don’t just vanish because we’ve decided they will. They were honed over such a long time that unless we put real effort into changing them, they will stick with us until the day we die. The clock changing from 0:00 to 0:01 isn’t going to affect that in any way.
So when we decide to commit to a gym membership or to cut out our favourite unhealthy food for 1st January, we often don’t think about what it means to achieve it. Are we going to be exhausted after work and decide to skip the gym just this once and never go back? Chances are high.
Meaningful change takes time and planning. We must make sure that we can incorporate these changes into our every day lives before we act on them. That way, we’ll be playing the clarinet like a pro in no time!
Sudden, Huge Lifestyle Changes Don’t Stick
Making grand alterations to our lives is appealing, for sure. Doesn’t everyone want to build a drastically new life for themselves in which we are happy, healthy and without a care in the world? Ideally with minimal effort and for just a couple of bucks?
The problem with “New Year, New Me” is that we tend to get carried away with how many chances we want to make. What starts out as a short list of basic resolutions turns into a drastic plan to change our lives that even life coaches would suck their teeth at.
In the same way that old ladies with houses full of cats don’t start off with 20 of them, we need to start with one and see how things go. When we make progress with the first change, we can permit ourselves a second and a third and so on. Taking many small steps is a lot better than taking one bigger than we can manage and falling flat on our faces.
Maybe We Just Need To Survive Right Now
2020 will go down in infamy for being one of the most mind-blowing years in history. I’ve read best-selling novels with less action.
We live in tumultuous times at the moment and it’s times like this when we need to take care of ourselves. “New Year, New Me” ignores the fact that we might not be in a position to take our lives to the next level yet. Losing a job, savings or goodness forbid, a loved one takes its toll on our health and frame of mind. When changes are happening beyond our control and in ways that cause us pain or hardship, surviving is a completely acceptable option.
While growth is healthy, constant growth is not. Recognising when we need to stand still for a little while and deal with what life is pelting us with is a strength we should learn to exercise. Growing is important but only in the right conditions. Let’s take care of ourselves first.
Thanks for reading! Did you know I also write urban fantasy books? Check them out here!