New Year, Same Me, Better Habits
By Mia Porter
Every year we hear the notion of “New Year, New Me”, ridding of all negative energy going into the New Year, and various New Year’s resolutions.
2020 was one hell of a year, but one thing that it taught me is that there is no better moment to start creating better habits that support your mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional health than when it comes to mind.
A lot of us spend so much time planning an execution date and style for the New Year rather than actually taking that first step in bettering our habits. For example, why do we need to wait until the New Year to block that number? If in that moment you determine that someone is toxic to your growth, then cut it out of your life then and there. Another step in making changes in bettering yourself and your habits is starting New Year’s practices instead of New Year's resolutions. Oftentimes when people create new year's resolutions, there is pressure to do it perfectly and consistently. This can lead to putting unnecessary pressure and stress on yourself and feeling more intense moments of defeat and frustration.
By starting New Year’s practices, it leaves less pressure to get it right the first time, as well as creates space for taking a day off or even making mistakes and forgetting to practice your habit that day. Establish what you want for yourself in the New Year, and practice it. Be gentle on yourself, practice makes perfect, but practice doesn’t always have to be perfect. Focusing on your own personal health and growth is so important during these times, because there is so much being thrown at us, Black people, at once.
Between the pandemic, trying to maintain in school, work or both, racism being exposed in ways we have never seen before, the elections, and everything in between, a lot of people, including myself, faced a crisis in mental, spiritual, and physical health.
It is important to remember that everything that happened in 2020 isn’t going to magically disappear now that a new year has started. It is also important to remember that without taking initiative, everything about yourself that wasn’t healthy in 2020 isn’t going to magically change either. Going into the new year, I wanted to create better habits for myself. I want to eat better, take care of my mental and spiritual health, and only promote healthiness and positivity around me. In order to make a change in the world, I believe that I must be the best version of myself.
What happened in 2020 as a society is not going away, but the bad habits that it potentially created or exacerbated can change and end in your life. Racism is not going away, COVID-19 will hopefully not have as much control over our lives, but it is not going away, politicians and corruption are not going away.
None of the issues that we faced in 2020 were new in society, but they were foreign to us. This sudden and drastic change forced a lot of us into panic mode, and not everyone handles that stress the same way. Some people thrived during the pandemic and created change for themselves, and some people did not. Either way, know that you were not alone in your specific situation even though it felt like you were.
Take this new year to practice new habits, break old habits, and create a better version of yourself than last year. The world needs you, and you cannot create change for others without creating change for yourself.