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COLUMN: Simply begin again

Reinvention is overrated, try self-compassion instead

It’s late December, and you know what that means: Christmas is finally over, so humour me while I switch gears to a topic equally annoying and self-gratifying to some — the inevitable, “new year, new me,” season. 

January is just around the corner, so if you’re anything like me, it’s time to crack out the brand new 2024 planner for a few weeks of vigorous use before it takes residency on the shelf next to last year’s edition. 

Nevermind that I didn’t fulfil all the goals I set 12 months ago. Forget about the fact that meaningful change requires stamina levels seemingly beyond my capacity at times. Pay no attention to the similar sentiments scrawled in the pages of my last five annual planners. 

The approach of the new year is a great time for reflection, and being honest with ourselves can be a fruitful endeavour. But this New Year I’ll propose a toast: let’s reflect on our year with kindness and compassion for ourselves. Let’s withhold the judgement often touted as fuel for change. Let’s let go of the idea the best version of ourselves is conditional — let’s even abandon the idea of “new year, new me.” 

It will be a new year, that’s true. But I don’t need to reinvent myself in January to be worthy of self-acceptance in 2024. I don’t need linear improvement to grow. I don’t need to dwell on what I didn’t accomplish in 2023. I need to trust I am capable of realistic change, breathe, and repeat the words: simply begin again. 

Lexi Freehill,

About the Author: Lexi Freehill

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