THE BLOG

Forget 'New Year, New You' - If You Want to Change Your Life, Why Wait?

03/01/2016 11:02 GMT | Updated 03/01/2017 10:12 GMT

If you go on Facebook right now, I guarantee I can predict the majority of statuses clogging up your newsfeed. It's not because I'm psychic, it's because the same thing happens every damn year.

"New year, new me!", "2016 is going to be MY year", "2016 is going to be the NEW me."

If there was a 'dislike' button, I would be be clicking it.

I can't stand these new year statuses that take over every single social media account come January. The cynical part of me reads them and says 'well that's obviously not going to happen, is it?'.

Because if you really want to make changes, I mean big changes, why wait?

If you have to wait to start that diet, start your training, find a new job or quit smoking then it's simple: you don't want it badly enough. Making changes to make your life more fulfilling aren't things that should have a "start date" or an "end date". Just do it right there and then.

It's very much the same as someone saying they'll start their diet on a Monday because it'll be the beginning of a new week, even if it's only a Tuesday when they say it. People will genuinely wait five days and put off the thing they "want so badly" because of what day it is.

If you're doing that, you're not bothered about your diet. And frankly, I don't care about your diet either.

The main problem with these "new year new me" statuses is they just don't work. People seek attention by setting unrealistic goals and plaster them over social media, and guess what? They're the ones that eight weeks down the line are moaning that they've failed and end up feeling worse than they did to begin with.

Setting a resolution and failing is so much worse than not having any resolutions. Yet for some odd reason, people get so bogged down with the fact it's a new year, they jump on the bandwagon and tell the internet they're cutting out all sugar, fags and going to the gym four times a week.

And then shock horror: they don't.

And if people do go a way to completing their goal, it's an intense month of no sugar/no alcohol/no cigarettes for four weeks. Come 1 February everything goes back to their pre-January detox and so ultimately, nothing has changed.

Dr Jessamy Hibberd, a wellbeing psychologist, said while she did see 1 Jan as being a time people can stop and reflect, the idea of them being realistic is much more important.

And "new me" isn't realistic at all.

"The new year is a good time to reflect on what really makes you happy and what you'd like to improve when it's otherwise difficult to slow down and look at what's going on in your life," she told me.

"However it shouldn't be a focus on what you haven't done right or what you should try to give up and it's only helpful if you do it in the right way by focusing on growth."

This year I had quite a lot of big changes in my life, none of which I majorly planned for but all were things I wanted. I moved out, got a new job, took up running and then signed up for a half marathon. I re-evaluated the things in my life that made me happy, and did less of the things that didn't.

Funnily enough, none of those things happened in January and I didn't give any of these 'changes' a deadline. It was a gradual process throughout the year and it sort of worked out pretty well.

When I realised things needed changing or I aspired for something new, I just went for it. When I decided after watching people complete the Brighton marathon in April that I wanted to start running, I went two days later and embarrassingly realised I couldn't even run 2k (lucky, 10 months later I now regularly run 10k).

Resolutions should be built on over time, and never be a decision you can only make in January.

For me, this year is "new year, same me", yet carrying on with the commitments I made during 2015.

I'm already doing the half marathon in February and I don't plan on stopping running any time soon. I want to be creative, be passionate and do well at my job, carry on making time for the people who make time for me (and also get a cat 😻).

Nothing groundbreaking, nothing hugely life-changing and if I find myself in March really wanting to make a change, I'll make it.

I won't wait another 10 months to do it.