New Year, NOT New Me.


I am almost certain that for the past 15-20 New Years I have made a silent resolution to “accomplish more” or “work harder”. Whether it be for physical reasons (such as sticking perfectly to a new diet, a new workout plan, vowing to not “mess up”, eat any “bad” foods or skip any workouts) or a never ending mental game with myself that nothing I had accomplished the year before was enough, I’ve decided that this year is different. I’m changing my outlook on a New Year and I’m finally putting to rest the idea that there is a “new me”. 

My imperfections as well as my best characteristics all are part of making me, me. I have spent so much time trying to change myself or ignore my inner self that I’m finally just learning to instead, accept myself. Every part. The parts I love and the parts that I used to hate. I am not only talking physical attributes either, but all of me. Since I’ve started to feel and experience life more by opening my mind to more than calories and “health”, I have learned a lot about myself. But I still have so much more to learn. I have realized that I am not going to wake up and be overly in love with myself and with life everyday. These are normal, human experiences. We all have bad days. We all have setbacks and negative thoughts. I’m not vowing to change myself or to “ completely stop” having negative thoughts about myself or anyone else. That isn’t realistic. This year, I am going to accept the good, the bad and the ugly in the process of learning even more about myself. 

We have to live with ourselves, literally forever. Why not get to know the ins and outs of who we are and what we need to keep grounded? For example, most mornings I go on walks with my dog and listen to an inspiring podcast to get my mind right. This past week, I wasn’t able to leave my house. I could seriously tell a difference in my mental state. But I recognized it, I was aware of it when I never would have been aware before. For me, walking outside is something that opens my mind. For some people, it’s yoga, meditation, talking to friends, it’s different for everyone. Do you know what keeps you feeling grounded? If not, wouldn’t you like to find out? It’s time to treat ourselves like humans, not machines and our mental health as an actual priority. Do you have anyone in your life that you would do anything for, that you love so much no matter how upset they can make you? Well if so, why don’t you view yourself the same? If you wouldn’t say to your best friend what you are saying to yourself, step back and ask why it’s okay to treat yourself that way but not others. 

And that is why this year I am not finding a “new me”. I am embracing the real me. The weird, clumsy, hyper, sensitive, thoughtful and even at times envious me. I cannot realistically get rid of all of my flaws (physical or not) but I can call myself out while still being kind to myself. I can figure out why I feel negatively sometimes and I can forgive myself. And so can you. So as this week goes by, think about what your New Year’s resolution is and how it actually serves you as a whole. Every part of you is unique and genuine- even the bad parts. Don’t push them away, understand them. You would be surprised at how much you can actually change through healing and discovery, rather than trying to force an intangible, concrete change. You got this. Happy New Years loves!

Shelbye Schlange