There is no such thing as a fresh start...

New year, new me. The “new year resolution” season is upon us. That magical time of year when everything is anew, we get used to writing a new date at the top of our page, and we feel the pressure of having to reinvent ourselves. Is the magic of a fresh start a healthy concept? Or better yet, is a fresh start even a real thing?

The promise of a fresh start accompanies the implication that there is a large mountain of bad decisions that need to be driven over and rebuilt. Bad decisions do not exist. There are no bad decisions but rather decisions that were appropriate for the scenario at the time you made them. A relationship may no longer work because you have changed since the decision was made to start the relationship. A career you once loved may no longer serve your values and interests, so a new decision needs to be made.

Perhaps something that is more beneficial to be given attention to is considering small changes you can make over a months’ or years’ time. Change does not happen overnight and we cannot expect that pursing something as fantastical as a fresh start will result in ultimate changes.

A clean slate is not realistic nor is it healthy. The anxiety and pressure you feel to have a fresh start is truly an opportunity to analyze decisions that may not fit your life goals any longer; it is certainly not a need for a clean slate.

Instead of the new year, new me mentality, here are some others questions to ask yourself as the new year rolls in to each of your lives.

1. What do I value most in life? 2. What negative habits am I using to protect myself? 3. What brings light to my life and where can I add more of that in to my life? 4. How would my year be different if I chose to believe that everything happens exactly as it is meant to? 5. What do I intend on giving my energy to this year? 6. How can I embrace the bad and dark just as much as the good and light?

The New Year is an exciting time full of opportunity, change, growth, and progress. Keep yourself grounded and realistic. There is no need to draft a list of goals for the year; rather, reflect on how you functioned in relationships and dynamics this past year and consider how you can implement some of the above points to have an even better year ahead of you.

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