I have become mind-blowingly aware of the number of programs and resources that exist to help us “re-make” the person we are: Methods of self-help guaranteed to change us. Church “all-inclusive” packages that are “the way” we will encounter God more deeply. Weight loss products to melt away the pounds even if we do nothing. Every one of these is done with an effort to create a “new you.” As we begin this year, the mantra seen in many places even is “New Year, New You!” I’m not sure I can agree with that. I say, “New Year, Same You,” and that’s not a bad thing.
After all, it’s our past situations, victories, failures, and habits, that have slowly shaped us into who we are today. In this season of life, there are things we want to change about ourselves to live a full life. One where we like how we look, find peace in who we are, and maintain a passion to reach the goals personally or professionally we set for ourselves. However, if we can’t base our changes off the person we were when we ended the year, then what really is the need for change? A “new us” would imply that none of that our baggage, or perceived shortcomings, existed. To think that we must become someone else in the image of who the world portrays as a success isn’t the right way to think about why we are desiring a change. It would suggest, that nothing we’ve experienced or done in our past has had a lasting effect to create the ultimate motivation for a shift in how we live.
Full disclosure: I love an array of motivational speakers, messengers of the Word across faith denominations, and have used the TV show “Biggest Loser” to learn how to control my own weight. Still, after many years of working to follow their inspiration, I learned that for change to stick, it has to be personal and I have to be who I am. There can’t be only ONE way. No lamp we rub for the genie to grant our wish. No, many of these things fall short trying to convince us our “old us” had some serious flaw within our makeup that we must get rid of to be transformed. But when we really get to the heart of it, who we are and what we have been through helps us to recognize the areas that need to be restored; not just discarded. For this reason, I try to inspire people by taking a cross section of various styles, encounters, and situations to find a relation each person can connect with personally.
The magic pill doesn’t exist in me telling you how I changed my life or instilling a mantra you repeat over and over that just don’t work for you. My role is merely to inspire you to look inside to find your inner beauty and give you the courage to pull it to the forefront. Then, the changes you make are your own; when you own them, they will last. If you’re relying on a quick fix or a “cure all,” then you have setbacks you’re not prepared to deal with that result in you giving up on your goals.
Remember, it’s not a new you, it’s the same you who is finding a piece of themselves that was lost somewhere along the way. Don’t allow someone else to pick your theme for the new year. You can’t fall victim to a trying to create a self-image dictated by someone else in order for you to feel amazing. In other words, there isn’t a blueprint of the seven steps guaranteed to make a new you. While all those things can serve as goals and a road map toward our personal desires, no one else feels what you feel, sees what you see or can understand the way your brain processes life events.
Yes, this is a new year and still the same you, but now you are working toward the things that transform you in ways you have been longing to be satisfied. People love you for you, why would you want a completely new you? In this year, and at any point, let’s just agree to find you a version 2.0 or maybe even a version 35.0 because we never stop growing and learning. Let’s agree to commit. Commit not because we don’t like ourselves, but we want to use the things we know don’t fulfill us or make us struggle in the attempt to live with joy. Taking a “little bit of this” and “a little bit of that,” blending them all together to transform our lifestyle and spiritual road map to not just change who we are, but remind us that we simply want to be better; that doesn’t mean we need to be dismantled.
Just know, you’re not as far off as maybe you thought you are. It’s a gradual journey that ends with joy not because you reached the destination, but because you discovered who you truly are along the way. 2018 is going to be amazing! God created you in His image. You don’t have to be a “New You,” just the “Same You” who is going to accomplish spectacular things by reaching your goals.