If you’re anything like us, you probably took some time ahead of the New Year to sit down, think and plan for 2023. You likely reflected on the year you had and looked ahead to what you would like from your next year. It seems almost natural to reevaluate how our year went and look at the highs and lows, and plan our next year based on this. We want our new year to be better, we want to be happier, and we want to achieve more and become more. All of which is perfectly fine and completely understandable. It’s so reasonable to want more. It’s natural, in fact. Why can’t we have it all?
However, with this thought in mind, when looking ahead to a new year, it seems like we cannot help but preemptively compare it to the year we had. Because we want more, we judge our current year and often look at it with a harsh lens. We do not show ourselves a lot of grace and tend to focus on the lower points of the year, like what we did not achieve, how little we saved and how little we travelled.
Because of this, when planning and looking ahead to a new year, it becomes very easy to write a never-ending list of things to do and things to become. This can render you overwhelmed and exhausted before even beginning.
It begs the question, is it even worth planning goals and aims for a new year? Can it even be done successfully?
Here at GirlDreamer, we like to believe that we are pro-planners, but even we falter and begin to will too much. As with all things, there has to be a healthy balance.
Below are our top tips on how to plan for a new year!
Every Aspect of Your Life Does Not Need to Change
Is anyone else tired of the saying, new year, new me? If we’re being honest, it’s quite rude. Are we so flawed that with each year, we need to completely overhaul who we are as people and start anew?
It is such a toxic and outdated notion that should have been discarded years ago, and yet as a new year rolls around, each year, we hear people quote this and then outline the list of changes they plan to make to themselves. After being around for so many years, it is understandable why this notion has become internalised by so many globally. And it is clear to see how much it contributes to the yearly lists of resolutions made.
We, as humans, are flawed, yes, but that is what makes us human. No one is perfect. You cannot change every aspect of yourself and your life and immediately become perfect. It will just not happen. And it does not need to happen. It is okay to have flaws, to make mistakes, and to do the wrong thing a few times.
New Year, New Me is outdated. It is rooted in capitalistic gain that creates and then preys on your weaknesses and insecurities, encouraging you to partake in quick fixes and unhealthy coping mechanisms to achieve a sense of solace only found in fiction.
It is unhealthy and damaging to think that to have a better year, you must change everything about yourself. You can have a great year without overhauling your entire personhood and planning to become a new person.
Be Realistic and Kind
When planning for the new year, it’s easy to get a bit carried away. There is nothing wrong with being ambitious and wanting the best for yourself, but it is important and healthy to remain practical,
Being realistic with your new year plans does not mean that you reject the goals, missions and aims that you have for yourself or dismiss any wild fantasies you might have and deem them improbable. Being realistic simply means that as much as we would like to, we cannot control everything. We know that life will happen around us, and sometimes it will not happen in our favour. And that is okay. In being realistic, we do not hold ourselves to strict timelines, we do not try to alter everything about ourselves, and we don’t judge our previous years harshly.
Being kind to ourselves coincides with this. With life’s ever-moving parts, it is important to show up for yourself and to show up with kindness. Developing a healthy relationship with yourself is essential to having a good year, as it means you can offer yourself grace, comfort and compassion whenever needed.
Let Life Surprise You
In trying to do it all, be a better version of ourselves and achieve more than the previous year through planning and sticking to steps, we risk the chance of running ourselves ragged and missing out on the joy of spontaneity.
Life is for living, and a part of that means not planning it all. It is important to let life surprise you. Leaving room for unexpected joys and plans is necessary. The last thing you should do is have an entire year planned that centres entirely on achieving your goals and aims. There is so much more to life than this, and the spontaneity of it is one of the greatest thrills.
While there can be great comfort in planning for a new year and determining what you would like to achieve, we sometimes run the risk of setting ourselves up for disappointment. Don’t get us wrong, here at GirlDreamer, we are pro planners, but we regularly consider life’s moving parts, the fact that we are not perfect (pretty close, though) and that despite everything, we really do not have as much control of life as we would like. It is important to regularly consider these factors when planning for a new year. You mustn’t write off an entire year because one thing didn’t go your way. We implore you, as cliche as it may be, to regularly look at the glass half full. Have faith in yourself and the universe, knowing that even without a ten-step plan and a list of resolutions, your year will be amazingly full of enjoyment, indulgence and great success without you needing to change anything about yourself or plan every day.
Happy New Year GirlDreamers, wishing you an amazing 2023!