Make-over: making the New Year “new”!

Unfortunately many of us have transferred the anxieties, traumas, shame, and wounds of the old year into 2023. It’s natural. But that can paralyze you, eating away your hope and joy, putting you in survival mode with narrow vision and limited ability to dream, envision, enjoy and create. And eventually you live your life reactively and from the outside-in, hoping for good things to happen to you and trying to protect yourself against all the threats that are out there on the journey ahead. And then the New Year remains old… same old, same old…

But, listen to this: it does not have to be like that. Let’s make the New Year “new” and open ourselves up to everything it can be. It will benefit you greatly.

I am going to use action-metaphors. It is a great way to create shifts in our brains and lives. You can even act it out or imagine yourself doing so.

  1. Take it off: Let’s lay down some the old stuff. In my mind’s eye I see you taking off old, filthy clothes, disappointments, failures, mistakes, set-backs, hurts and wounds. That includes forgiving others and yourself, letting go of feelings of bitterness, and accepting reality for what it is. It is not a great idea to put fresh clothes over dirty, useless, stinking ones. In the same way it is unwise to say “yes” to the new episode of your life while living in the old. Yes, take it off, turn the page to put the past behind you. Spend some time here before moving on. Do it in ways what works for you, e.g. meditate, pray, imagine, talk to the old stuff, journal, draw pictures, and/or write the ugly things on paper an then burn it. If you need to mourn, grief or be angry, that’s okay. Do it, but then let it go. DO NOT KEEP IT WITH YOU!
  2. Put on: After you have laid down the “old”, start embracing the “new” that’s in stall for you. The “new” might include feelings you want, like hope, joy, grace, and love, peace, courage, confidence.  Try to “see” and “feel” them as if they are there ready to be taken. Imagine how it will feel when you wear them and live in them. Now, put it on, invite these good things into your life. Again, do it in ways what works for you. This is the “New you” that you embrace for the New Year. It might flow into new goals, roles, habits and plans.
  3. Be New: Who are you now, the new you? In a recent coaching session someone said “I am a strong lion that’s brave and can protect”. Someone else described the new identity as “an eagle soaring above troubles and anxieties with authority and strength”. What’s your metaphor for your “new self”? Now, just “be” this new person. You have re-positioned your inner life. Live intentionally from that newness, flow in it. The newness is not primarily something that you do, but the person you are, the one you are becoming. Your new identity will become your new destiny. Remind yourself regularly about the “new person” you have chosen to be. Breathe and feel and act like him or her.

I realise that the process I have just described is not easy. It resembles an internal make-over. But in this way you will make 2023 a fantastic year because you live from the inside out, and transform every day and every moment proactively into something beautiful and good.

I trust 2023 will be a great, new year because you choose to be a “great, new person”!