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New Year, ______ Me

    Happy New Year! Here we are. 2020. The roaring 20's! I am one of those people that thinks 2000 was 10 years ago and 1994 was 15 years ago. But it's January 2020, the turn of the year; the turn of the DECADE. We get a fresh slate. A clean calendar. Every commercial, ad, article, and status seems to be about New Year's Resolutions. I'm 100% sure there are more fitness and diet program commercials on TV. And why wouldn't there be? Sometimes, we need a catalyst, or a push, to change or break a habit. I have my own goals (for some reason, I hate the notion of resolutions), which I will share in a bit, but this year finds me really unpacking this notion of "new year, new me!"

   
    Why is there so much pressure? It's odd that there is this requirement that we set a list of goals or resolutions for the start of the new year. Why not just start whenever you feel inspired to do so; doing it that way probably makes whatever changes you're making really stick. As an example, when I started the keto diet, it was the end of the summer. It wasn't like "oh, I need to get a bikini body for summer," or anything like that. I had just been feeling so run down, my skin was having issues, and my stomach always felt awful. My clothes didn't fit the way they used to. So, I made some changes. I didn't wait for "Monday," or "next week," or "next year," I just made a change, and it's been quite a positive lifestyle change for me. It actually took me a bit to figure out my goals for the new year, because I felt this weird pressure to have some kind of answer to the "what are your new year's resolutions?" How ridiculous! There's a part of me that wonders if we are setting each other up for failure. Society tells us we have to "turn over a new leaf!" or that "this is our chance for a fresh start," as though if you aren't trying to improve yourself, you're failing. What about just surviving. What about maintaining what you've already worked hard to build?

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     Of course gyms fill up in January with people trying to lose weight, but is it because they really want to, and are ready and committed to that lifestyle change? Or do they feel forced into it by this weird societal clock that expects us to become new, "better" versions of ourselves each year? I'm not trashing self-improvement. If YOU are ready to change or stop or add something in your life, and the turn of the year makes sense, go for it. But if you make a list of goals for the new year because "they" say you should, it's probably not going to work. If you aren't ready in January, and you decide that February 9th is the day you're going to quit smoking or give up sugar, that's okay.

      All that said, I did make some goals for myself, but I made and started them a few months ago, so they aren't really new year's goals. It's nothing revolutionary, or really, monumental. But I made them for me; I had let go of some things that feed my soul, and I want to bring them back. The biggest two:

-Read a real book for at least 15 minutes a day. I've been listening to audio books primarily because of how much I travel, but I love actual reading. And it will encourage me to put the phone down.

-Write at length at least once a week. That's part of what started this blog! :) Writing feeds my soul, and allows me to express myself. Maybe people read it, maybe they don't. I do it for me, not for anyone else.

     So, it's 2020, a new decade. If you need or want to start something, or give up something, or make a change, go for it! If you made it through the first four days of January, you. did. a. good. job. If you don't want to (or can't) make any changes in your life this week/month/year, you. are. not. failing.

Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk. Happy New Year!

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