Founder of YOGADOO and Yoga teacher, Lucy Aston on why we shouldn't be looking for a New You, this New Year.
It’s traditional at this time of the year to start to think about making resolutions or promises to ourselves to help make improvements to our lives. And whilst I think it’s healthy to reassess our priorities and well-being, (in January, or at any point throughout the year for that matter) it’s also important to make sure we are realistic about the goals we are setting and ask ourselves why we are setting them.
What isn’t so healthy is the groundswell of ‘New Year, New You’ marketing messages which surface at this time of the year. WHY do we need to be a new person? A new version of ourselves? Why isn’t just being ourselves, enough?
I don't think it’s any coincidence that three weeks after the built-up hype of creating a newer, thinner, stronger, healthier, smarter version of ourselves, we have 'Blue Monday' which is billed in the press as the most depressing day of the year. Is it any wonder? When we have set ourselves the challenge of changing the way we look, often expecting immediate results, but unrealistic expectations.
So for me, it's not about a New Year, New You. It's about taking the time to learn more about who you are - right here, right now. And acceptance. Allowing yourself to just be. Not expecting anymore right now, just noticing how you feel and who you are. OK sure, I get that the first day, week, month of the year is the ideal time to pursue new goals, set new intentions, but don’t put any pressure on yourself to make huge changes, now might not be the right time.
People join my yoga classes all the time, at different points throughout the year to help them on a journey of one form or another, whether that’s a journey of weight loss, recovery, pursuit of a more mindful life, increased flexibility or better work/life balance. And what’s interesting is that their journey often starts with one goal, but once they start to practice yoga and allow themselves some headspace and time to restore, they will find that they feel other benefits in their life, for their health, their body and their mind.
During this last year, I have made some huge changes in my life where I reassessed my work/life balance, left a corporate office job, traveled to India alone to immerse myself in my yoga practice (see the picture above), and when I got back I launched YOGADOO (but that's a blog post for another day). I didn't make those changes on the first day, or in the first week of January, I made those important decisions once I had given myself the time and space to learn who I really was, the life I wanted to lead.
So what’s important is not feeling the need to start the New Year, New You race on the bang of the gun at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve. The most beneficial change you can make to your life is to allow yourself some time just to be you. That’s enough. Everything else will follow.
Happy New Year.