It is time to ditch the ‘New Year, New Me’ mentality in 2020


Darius Melton

Sarah Levinson, Contributing Writer

We are a month into 2020, and with every start of a new year, comes the inevitable strive to work on bettering ourselves. Dr. Laurie Santos, psychologist and host of The Happiness Lab podcast, calls this the “fresh start” effect. Santos says that people look for specific moments to make their fresh starts—a new week, month, semester, year, etc.

With the recent start of the new decade, you may be hearing the phrase “new year, new me” quite a lot. You may even be saying it yourself. This mentality is not an effective way to better yourself, your habits, your career or any other aspect of your life you wish to improve, and it is time to ditch it.

First, it is not realistic to completely abandon your identity overnight; nor should you want to. It is realistic, however, to gradually make some changes or improvements with patience, motivation and goal setting. Psychology Today suggests setting goals that are specific and understanding why they are important to you.

It is okay to try and make improvements in relationships or habits without losing your true self and sense of identity.

There may have been mistakes or regrets you made in 2019 that you are eager to forget about and start focusing on the “new you.” These “mistakes,” however, taught you a valuable lesson and should not be forgotten as they serve as a reminder to do better in the future.

The phrase “new year, new me” also poses a negative image on your already existing identity, which can cause issues with your self-image and self-confidence. If you are striving to completely change yourself, you are setting yourself up to search for flaws and look for things that are “wrong” with you.

It is healthier to learn to love yourself and embrace your strengths and positive attributes rather than suppress them.

We are capable of being better people without losing our sense of identity so ditch the “new year, new me” mentality and focus on a “new year, better me” mentality.