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11.1.17

New Year? New Me? No way


"Learn to stop shooting for stars that are not meant to fall for you"
- Erin Van Vuren


What I'm wearing Jumper-dress from Lasula Boutique. What I'm reading "Brain Food for Big Kids" by Erin Van Vuren


I talked about hopes in my last post and I have such great hopes for the year ahead. But they are just that. Hopes. They are not objectives or ambitions, schemes or targets. They aren't even resolutions because New years resolutions are a strange concept to me. Why wait until January the first to grow? Why wrap it all up in some "New Me" bow? I am so done with all the wishy-wishy visualisation, positive mental attitude, affirmation bullshit that we are supposed to live our lives by. I am sick of being told that we must always change, always race one another towards some vague undefined goal by constantly altering ourselves. That by being thinner, not swearing, drinking less and eating more vegetables we can all achieve unrestricted happiness. At some point. Maybe  

Resolutions bug me because they are inevitably a reflection of societies homogenous expectations instead of how we want to develop as individuals. The problem with resolutions is that they are goal-orientated, yet another concept I struggle with as it pushes us forward into the future of our arguably very short lives instead of anchoring us in the present. The other issue that I have is that most resolutions are based around changing existing thought patterns or habits, something which three months of intensive CBT has taught me is a hugely complex task. I hate to be the one to tell you that changing our conditioned responses is not something that can happen by spending £9.99 on a book with a smiley face on it or by simply scribbling a list of affirmations on a page at midnight. It's just not that simple

I recently listened to "Happy" an audiobook by Derren Brown which examines how the unequaled influence of the self-help industry impacts on us as well as how the affects of a deeply ingrained "goal-setting" ideology has shaped us as a generation. Goal setting facilitates a profound sense of unworthiness and fosters a divide between what we have now and what we assume we want for our future. The self-help industry is big business, it's a billion dollar colossus which puts one tender hand on our back in mock comfort whilst putting the other deep into our wallets and I for one am done with it. I am done with trying to change who I am

Living a happy and fulfilled life isn't about making annual declarations in the pursuit of societies ideals and fads and fashions. It's about making rational, healthy choices today and every day. I'm sick of being told that we must always be positive, always be happy, always be grateful. I just want to feel my feelings when I feel them. I don't want to never feel sad I just want to know that it's temporary and that it's ok not to be happy all of the time. I don't hope to be any better this year, any richer, any wiser, any more successful. I just hope to be kinder to myself and more accepting and understanding of the wide spectrum of emotions that I am capable of experiencing and expressing. I won't have a smile on my face every day this year but that's ok. I'm not perfect and I no longer want to be 



6 comments:

  1. Such an interesting read Milly, I agree with you 100% on the goal setting. I am also interested in the Darren Brown audio tape, would you say its worth a listen? Georgie - As You Wish UK x

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    Replies
    1. Definitely worth a listen, I feel like self-help is being regurgitated in every corner at the moment - maybe it's just a January thing? Either way it's flimsy and tedious. But his approach is much more realistic and helpful

      Milly
      xx

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  2. I never set new year goals mainly because I know I'll probably give up before I start. Instead a do small mini goals throughout the year. Great post x

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    Replies
    1. I much prefer the mini-goals approach, much more balanced and considered. People place way too much emphasis on sweeping change that they simply cannot possibly hope to sustain

      Milly
      xx

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  3. I loved reading this because I agree with so much of what you said. I agree with Leah on setting 'mini-goals' as something to aim fo, but as for the big old resolutions people set (and break within weeks) I don't think it's wise to set yourself up with unrealistic goals for the wrong reasons x

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  4. Exactly, I think people need to look at the reasons why they are making these resolutions and break them down into smaller, more manageable goals. You set yourself up for a fall when you try to re-paint the bigger picture

    Milly
    xx

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