Before I sound too "bah humbug," I actually like New Year. It feels like a clean slate. It's a good time to set goals or start new projects (although, just like pumpkin pie, you can really have this any time of year). Unfortunately, it's also a time many people unwittingly nitpick and berate themselves, and advertisers know it. There is no better time to sell gym memberships, diet plans, nicotine patches, day planners, and self-help books than January.
Which is fine, really. Like I said, clean slate and all. This year I made a few goals and it felt really good to meet them, and I've already got some goals in mind for 2014. What is most important about New Year goals (or any goals, for that matter) is that they uplift and empower you, not degrade or demean you.
This is why I hate the phrase, "New year, new you."
I hope every time you see or hear this phrase, you are mildly offended. Why would the current you need to be replaced with a new you? You are not damaged and you are not defective. You may not be perfect, but that just means you're a person. There may be things about yourself you'd like to work on, but that doesn't mean you're not worthwhile until that happens. Anyone who says otherwise is either a jerk or is trying to sell you something (maybe both).
So many resolutions are based on the idea that we're not okay the way we currently are. My challenge to you is to make your 2014 goals in the spirit of self-care, not self-improvement. They may seem very similar, but don't be fooled. One puts you down and the other lifts you up. Which one do you think you're more likely to stick with; the one you dread or the one you're excited about? My hope for you is that you will choose goals that will make you feel better about yourself, not worse.
Now I want to hear from you. What are your goals for 2014? Let me know in the comments. I can't wait to hear all the cool stuff you're going to do.