Stepping in to 2019 feels hopeful. Stepping into a new year always feels hopeful. There is room for growth, for new experiences and for a continued consumption of chocolate and wine – what’s not to like? Commonly viewed as a chance to start anew, a time to check in with yourself, the new year has in its beauty simultaneously turned into a marketing-gimmick.
With a new year ahead, the opportunities for new starts, for taking action and leaving bad habits behind, are identical to any other time of the year. To make changes, better ourselves and the life we lead is not something exclusively tied to the beginning of a year – but something which can and should be practiced continuously throughout our lives.
This is not to say that using the new year as a milestone, to reflect over the year that has passed, is a bad thing. But the way in which this is done, should be given as much reflection as the previously mentioned yearly-reminisces.
If you follow the guidelines set out by marketing experts of various businesses, the new year should equal a new you. This assumes the old you not good enough, deemed unworthy unless you shred the past you, and transform yourself into something new.
A classical new year’s resolution created by this market-forced-mindset is to ‘get into shape’. With the negative vantage-point of being ‘out-of-shape’, it fuels the feeling of incompleteness, upon which consumerism thrives. Based on a feeling of lack, the resolution thus directly reflects this key component of all marketing strategies.
It allows for the purchase of a gym membership, new gym clothes, protein-shakes, water bottles with inspirational quotes – things to supposedly aid you in your quest of building what media refers to as a ‘dream-body’.
But just like the expression proclaims it, the chances to achieve this type of resolution is but a dream. If they were to be achievable, the feeling of lack and thereby desire would dry out the demand for the markets creating them, hence the mindset of ‘new year, new me’ creates a vicious cycle of unfulfilled resolutions.
Rather than viewing the new year as a time to warp into something you are not, something you lack, look at it as a time to better yourself. Reflect upon your positive qualities, your strong sides and take pride in them. Find ways in which these strengths can be used constructively to better your weaknesses. Because it is not about moving from bad to good. It’s about moving from good to even better.
Mindset is everything, so set your mind up to resist negative influences telling you what you lack, focus on what you have, and create change by building on that. Make this year a great one, not by becoming a ‘new you’, but by becoming a better version of the ‘existent you’.