Here we go again, another year has started and I still cannot believe how fast 2022 has gone by. This is the thing about getting older: time flies. No matter which website or social medium I opened over the past two days, the topic was the same: resolutions, how to plan the next year, monthly challenges, weight loss advertisements. All of them claiming that 2023 will be “my year” and encouraging readers with #newyearnewme.
When I go through all these posts, I wonder if I really do want to be a “new me”? Is there a need to drastically change? I do not think so. When I look at the past year, I am quite satisfied with my achievements. Of course, we can always strive for more and for somebody like me, it is tough to be 100% content. But I went into 2022 with a fairly open mind. After almost two years of Covid lockdowns and the related ups and downs in business and supply chains, I did not know what to expect; I preferred to be a bit cautious. Hence, I went with the flow. Looking back, it was a good thing.
I never really got this thing about the end of the old and the start of the new year. Why is it such a big deal? Of course, it marks the end of something fairly long and new beginnings always give hope. But will things turn and radically change from one day to the other? If we have not stuck to our plans over the past year, why would we miraculously stick to an even bigger plan for the entire next year?
As I mentioned in Monday Postcard #60, I do not believe in New Years resolutions, because I think it is more realistic to set achievable goals throughout the year. For 2022, I had one big goal which determined all the smaller sub-goals: a new direction for Pelagona, a rebranding, entering the fashion space and creating more products. It was not a goal I set on New Year’s Eve, I had already started to prepare this big project throughout 2021. 2022 meant that I had to keep carrying out all my plans. With every small milestone I reached – the products, photos, website and the feedback – I became more confident. The process also reminded me how much I enjoy working with a creative team. The shooting days are some of my favourite memories of that time. I guess after Covid, we are all enjoying and appreciating real-life social interactions.
New Year, New Me… I really struggle with this, especially when I see all the diet and workout plans which are being advertised heavily at the moment. In 2022, I changed my approach to working out – in addition to my walks, runs and hikes, I started to incorporate strength training which also had a very positive impact on my mental health. I slowly saw the progress, especially in the last quarter of the year – I felt stronger and fitter and many of my issues (e.g. my back pain) had improved a lot. Unfortunately, I hurt my shoulder and had to take a break for a bit but I guess it was a reminder that I need to listen to my body. Did I start this on January 1, 2022? Definitely not. For a decade now, I have slowly incorporated exercising into my lifestyle. It took time and it was definitely not a one-time New Year’s resolution.
When I apply the “New Year, New Me” to my personal life, I find this slogan even worse. I want to be good and do good. This has not changed over the years. And it also will not change this year. There are many areas on which there is room for improvement (sometimes, quite substantial room to be perfectly honest). I want to work on that negative voice in my head, I want to focus more on myself rather than what other people think or expect and I want be able to appreciate the small things more. Furthermore, I want to appreciate time and enjoy the moments with my loved ones.
Does this mean I have to turn into a “new me”? I doubt it. I think it rather is working on the current me, learning and improving. A “new me” would mean that I throw everything out of the window and become an entirely different person. What about just “being me” and being true to myself?
Whatever your plans are for 2023 and whether you work with resolutions or not, I wish you all the best for the New Year. May it be happy, healthy and productive and may you be the version of “you” which you want to be.