Notepad with New Year New You written on it with text overlay: [Wellness Wednesday] New Year, New You? Not So Fast!

[Wellness] New Year, New You? Not So Fast!

Happy New Year, and welcome to the first Wellness Wednesday of the year! We’re now a week into the new year, and we’ve seen promises of “a new year, a new you” more times than we can count.

My question is, what’s wrong with the “old you”?

I’d like for you to take a minute and think about all the things your body does for you each day.

They may not look exactly like we’d like them to look, or feel as good as we’d like for them to feel, but our bodies are absolutely amazing.

When we start wellness changes from the mindset that we need a ‘new’ us, the focus tends to be on all the things we don’t like about ourselves. This may be enough motivation to get us started, but it’s not enough to sustain our wellness efforts over the long run.

We need to get rid of that idea of needing “a new you” as if we’re irreparably broken and the only “fix” is a new us.

We don’t need a “new us.” We may need to make some improvements to be healthier and/or happier, but that doesn’t mean we need to change everything about ourselves.

I’ve seen it year after year at the fitness clubs I worked in. People came in on January 1st in search of that “new you,” tried to change everything about themselves, and by March, were back to doing what they had always done.

That all or nothing mentality just doesn’t work for most people.

Wellness Changes that Last

Rather than just deciding we need a complete overhaul, a more effective way to approach wellness changes is to determine what we’re already doing well and build on those things.

Starting from a positive rather than negative mindset, finding our “why” for wellness changes, and starting small can help us build positive, sustainable habits that can improve our wellness.

In Thinking Ahead for Meaningful Wellness Goals, we talked about some questions to ask ourselves when contemplating wellness changes.  Going through the process of asking those questions for each area of wellness can give us a starting point for setting some meaningful goals.

When we determine which areas we want to change, a good place to start is to give ourselves credit for what we’re doing well, and start to build on that.

For example, perhaps you already eat two servings of vegetables every day, but you know you need to eat more. Since you’ve established the habit of eating some veggies, it’s easier to add one more serving each day. Once you’re able to be consistent with that habit 90% of the time, you can choose a different habit to build on.

Of course, for many of us, making only one change at a time doesn’t feel realistic. It may feel that if we only take on one thing at a time, we’ll never get where we want to be with our wellness.

That’s okay – if you want to take on more than one change at a time, just follow the same process for each area you want to improve. Start with what you’re already doing well with and build on that. The important thing is that you make small changes you can build on, and that are sustainable over time.

A “Renewed” You

We don’t need a “new us.” What we need is to appreciate how wonderful we truly are, determine what we need to do to improve our wellness if it’s not ideal, and go from there. Rather than a “new” us, we can be “renewed” through our wellness efforts.

Have you ever fallen into the “New Year, New You” trap? What have you found most helpful for making wellness changes that last? Please share!




    1. Ha ha, I feel your pain George! You’re so right that we have to take care of the parts, especially at our *young* age. I just don’t think we need to try to change everything at once. From my experience, that just sets people up for failure. I’m just shooting for a “better than last year” me this year.😊

  1. I love this! I’ve fallen into that trap, only for it to last a few weeks. Then I was right back to my old habits. I really love your advice here!

    1. Thank you so much Michelle! You’re definitely not alone in falling into that trap, and I think the whole “new year, new you” marketing does people a huge disservice. Blessings to you sweet friend!

  2. My problem is I start the new year with a plan to change this and change that and soon realise I have far reaching expectations of myself then nothing seems to be achieved.

    1. You’re definitely not alone in that Bar. When we try to change too many things at once it’s hard to become consistent with anything. That’s why we health coaches encourage people to work on one habit at a time. Once we can become consistent with that habit, then we can start working on another one. It really does help us make sustainable changes. Blessings to you sweet friend!

  3. Years ago, sick of resolutions that didn’t hold and only made me feel bad, I started marking New Year’s with the question: What do I need more of? With winter fast upon us, I have vowed to get outside when possible. If the sun is shining and the temperatures are not too challenging, I will get out there, camera in hand. Of course, getting out doesn’t necessarily mean walking – that’s a little troublesome – but a car ride with the window rolled down fills my lungs with fresh air.

    Hope you are keeping well, Terri!

    1. That sounds like a great way to do things, V.J.! I’m glad you’re able to get out and about and enjoy the outdoors. Winter is such a beautiful time of year, but I’m too much of a wimp to get out in the cold much.😊 Sending hugs your way!

    1. Thank you Melinda! I like that much better than “new.” I just don’t like the implication that we need a “new” us as if the “old” us isn’t worth saving…. I hope your new year is off to a great start sweet friend. Hugs!

  4. I used to buy into ‘new year, new you’ all the time when I was younger. And quite literally too – it’s a multibillion dollar industry, and of course I’d go along buying things to get fit, lose weight, look beautiful and all that nonsense. I’m glad this was a loooong time ago. There’s nothing wrong with reviewing things, seeing areas you’d like to work on or things you’d like to change or improve but for your own sake, not because society says so or because you think it’d make others like you more etc. It should be done just for you, for the sake of happiness and wellness, while acknowledging that you’re absolutely fine as you are. New Year New Year centres on telling people there’s something wrong, that you’re not good enough, and sadly too many of us believe that deep down. It’s horse manure. We’re all good enough, just as we are.
    Caz xx

    1. Thanks for sharing Caz! It’s so easy to fall into that “new you” trap, isn’t it? I agree that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with reviewing things and seeing what you’d like to work on for yourself. The starting point should always be, as you said, acceptance. Just because we need to work on some things doesn’t mean we’re not enough just as we are…. Sending hugs your way sweet friend!

  5. I loved this post Terri, It was a good read to start off 2020. And you’re truly right, there’s nothing wrong with the “old us.” Yes, we all need a little improvements here and there but if we can change just the things that we personally don’t like even if it’s a small change then I think that’s fine.

    1. Thanks so much Mark! I hope your 2020 is off to a great start. I agree with you that we probably all have things we want to change, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. It’s just that whole “you need a new you” marketing that bothers me. To me, it just gets people off on the wrong foot if they need to make wellness changes. Blessings to you dear friend!

      1. I’m in South Texas, Terri. Cold days here are the low 60s. Wow. I’m so glad I’m out of the cold weather! RVing is turning out to be a stellar way to live. Yay!!!😊💜😋

      2. I wasn’t sure exactly where in Texas you were, and I know some folks were hit hard in the storms over the weekend. I sure am glad you guys weren’t affected. I’m glad you’re enjoying RV Life.

Please tell me what you think!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.