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New Year, New You?

You must’ve seen them already.

“New Year, New You!”

“Make 2018 the year you reach your weight-loss goals!”

“Get the body you’ve always wanted this year!”


Sorry, this is what happens when I see ads like that:


Why? Because unless this is the year they perfect human cloning and you get a replica of yourself, there is no new you. The same goes for “getting the body you always wanted,” unless kidnapping is also on your agenda for the coming year.

You can adopt new habits. Learn new skills. Visit new places. Meet new people. Read new books. Try new hobbies. 

But a new you? Not happening.

I don’t see that as a bad thing, though. Because holy shit how awful would that actually be, if you had to completely start over at the beginning of every year? All your life experiences, gone. Your hard-won knowledge and wisdom, POOF! Goodbye! That's like being one paragraph shy of finishing an important paper, then having your computer crash and you realize with a stab of anguish that YOU DIDN’T SAVE ANYTHING. 

That sounds utterly exhausting.

So what can we do?

We build. We take what we already know, what we already do, and we build on it, just one small change at a time. We don’t have to reinvent ourselves. We come, as we are, with a willingness to learn and grow and be a little uncomfortable. 

Are there things I want to work on this year? Abso-frickin-lutely. 

I want to be more patient with my kids. I want to push myself physically while still being mindful and respectful of my prolapse. I want to waste less time on Facebook. I want to stop biting the inside of my cheeks. 

But I don’t want a new me. I happen to really like me. I'm cool.

In the words of one of the great philosophers of our time, Pinky Pie*:

One small thing doesn't seem like a lot
One small thing, work with the time you've got
Soon one small thing becomes two
After two, perhaps another few
Then one small thing is not so small
One small thing can be the biggest thing of all

Instead of focusing on radical change this year, start small. You are pretty darn awesome and you don’t need a complete overhaul. 


*I really think Pinkie has a substance abuse problem and I hope this is the year she gets some help.

Alexis Helmrath