At the end of each year, I always look back at what I’ve achieved in those 365 days and think about how I can make the upcoming year better. With 12 strokes to midnight, I welcome a brand new year and a new opportunity to reset my attitude to life. I make a lengthy list of wishes and resolutions and fill myself with positive energy that encourages me to believe that this year everything I’ve planned will come true if I make enough effort.

Personally, I’m a strong advocate for the “New Year – New Me” approach but I’ve noticed that more and more people become sceptical about fresh starts on 1 January. It seems that everyone I’ve spoken to about their attitude to the New Year has divided into 3 different camps: “I could not care less“camp, “New Year – Same Me“camp and my favourite, “Live Your Best Life” camp. I want to review all 3 positions and try to convince you to open yourself up to more positive thinking this year!

First, I understand why some people might feel unconvinced about New Year’s resolutions and new beginnings around this time. I think a lot of it is to do with the fact that most of us don’t adhere to those New Year’s promises. We tend to over-promise things to ourselves and give up in a matter of weeks, if not days. I’ve been there myself.

In 2018 I set my goal to do yoga every morning and I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that I’ve failed to stick to my word. However, I disagree that this failure should discourage me from trying again. Yes, I didn’t do yoga every single day that year but I did it occasionally and still got better at being in tune with my own body and feeling stronger. In fact, my true failure had nothing to do with skipping yoga lessons. I was wrong to set a vague, unachievable goal that wasn’t manageable for a yogi beginner like me. Yet, I still benefited from that decision and learnt how to plan better!

So, as sceptical as you might feel about introducing new habits at the start of the year because you probably won’t stick to them, I still encourage you to try. It doesn’t matter if you don’t keep your promises throughout the whole year. As long as you don’t give up on your goals completely, you will still be reaping benefits. My only advice to you is to be a little more realistic when setting your goals.

Even though I’d never side with those who remain sceptical about New Year’s wishes and resolutions, at least I see where they come from. It’s the attitude from the “New Year – Same Me” camp that I’ll never be able to fully comprehend. How can one insist that there is nothing they need to change about their life? Even if you’re absolutely perfect and have your life planned out to the millisecond, isn’t there something in the world that you might want to try? Something new you might want to include in your life?

I definitely get the concept that we’re supposed to be our best selves all year round, not just after the New Year’s celebration.  However, I think we all need a re-evaluation from time to time – a reset. Maybe it’s me who’s being sceptical now, but I find it hard to believe that a regular human being can be awesome all day every day without any changes.

I’m convinced that everything we go through alters us in various ways, and I’m sure that we can all agree that in one year a lot can happen. Personally, I went through a number of transitions in 2018 and I’m definitely not the same person I was before, which is great! I doubt that anybody can stay absolutely the same throughout all 365 days, but if you can, please get in touch because I have questions!

After reviewing 2 less enthusiastic positions, I have finally reached my favourite campers at “Live Your Best Life” camp with whom I relate on every spiritual level. Those people believe in their dreams, they make wishes and they choose to start fresh when the clock strikes twelve, introducing new habits and new goals. In simple words, they choose to live their best lives.

If you’re one of those wonderful believers in a fresh start on a New Year’s night, I applaud you and encourage you to be as wild and daring as you want to be this year and every year after! Please spread your positive mindset shamelessly and never be brought down by those who are less enthusiastic.

Dreams are important because they make you passionate about life. Dreams make you want things and when we want something, we go and get it. This is where resolutions and goals come into play! They say that a dream without a plan is just a wish and I definitely agree.  Working out what exactly you want to achieve and setting yourself a 365-day deadline is powerful! It encourages you to work for your dream and makes you analyse how exactly you can get where you want to be within a certain time. Yes, you can do this during any time of the year but I’d like to strongly encourage you to try it now because the New Year’s arrival is a perfect benchmark for measuring your success! So don’t miss out on this great opportunity to improve your life and follow the optimistic attitude of the resolution makers!

I hope I’ve managed to convince you to open yourself up to a fresh start in 2019. Before I let you go make your slightly delayed New Year’s resolutions, I want to share one more thought regarding the “New Year – New Me” approach.

Can we really become brand new within the first seconds of the New Year? Unfortunately, we can’t, and thinking so would be delusional: no matter what year, we still have the old demons to live with and the old habits to fight against. What we can have, however, is the feeling that we can let go of the past and welcome the future. Yes, the past experiences have taught us lessons, but they don’t have to define us in the new year. We can choose to leave the old fears behind and enter 2019 with a new attitude. And that’s the true magic of the New Year’s night! Maybe you can’t become brand new without a memory loss but you surely can become renewed, and that’s what I wish for all of you!

Photos by James Pepper