New Year, Same You

by Amy on January 5, 2018

Happy New Year!

I’m not going to lie, I love self help new year rhetoric. Vision board? Check. New Planner? Purchased. Word of the Year? Pondering.

And yes, I have completed a list of goals, each goal nested within a A/B decision tree of contingency micro goals, complete with an exhaustive list of behavioral and circumstantial impediments containing  an inventory of new behavioral patterns to be adopted for optimal achievement along with a battery of new age accouterments placed strategically around the home — a green candle on my desk, a photo of Ganesha on the fridge and three focus statements, one in my wallet, another under my pillow and a third tucked in between my butt cheeks.

Phew! I’m not even sure what I just said. But all joking aside, I do love me some goals.

And yet…

All this talk about creating a new “you” in the new year has really got to stop. I admit that I used to have goals because I thought I needed to be a better person. In fact, once in my twenties, I created a whole list of things I wanted to achieve by the age of 30. I wanted to learn Chinese, live in a foreign country, get a Master’s degree at Columbia University.

And guess what? I never achieved them by the age of thirty, well actually I never achieved them at all. Then I became (I shit you not) suicidally depressed and proceeded down a slippery slope of highly self destructive behaviors. (You can read the book.)

Learning Chinese, living abroad, getting a masters degree…ALL totally awesome goals, right? Depends. 

You see, even though I created them, they really didn’t have anything to do with me. And by me, I mean the real me. I wanted to achieve these things because I thought I needed to be the kind of person who could speak Chinese, live in foreign lands and have a fancy degree.

I thought if I achieved these things, it made me a better person. Someone more lovable. Someone who deserved to take up space.

Please don’t blindly ingest the lie that you need to be someone other than the flawed human being you are — “New Year, New You!” Live up to your potential! Be the best you can be! All these seemingly well meaning proclamations? Abuse masquerading as self “help.”

Here’s how to really help yourself in 2018: love yourself, forgive yourself, be nice to yourself.

So yeah, I have goals in 2018. Some big ones. The difference is that the goals I create for myself come from the foundational understanding that I am just fine thank you very much exactly as I am, goal or no goal, whether I speak Chinese, live abroad, get a degree, write a book, rank up in your biz,  it or not. That I deserve — simply because I exist — to love what I do and to do it regardless of how misguided, ridiculous or unrealistic other people see it.

New Year, New You?

Bullshit.

New Year, Same You who deserves to want what she wants simply because she exists.

Please don’t use your goals as an excuse to beat the shit out of yourself based on the lie that you are not enough, as is.

Now, download this and proceed with caution on your precious goals, contingency plans, micro goals and focus statements while repeating after me:

I am enough as is, goal or no goal.

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