Happy New Year: Changes Over Time, Not Over Night

The start of a new year means that, once again, the festivities move behind us and the era of reflection comes upon us. As we unwind the Christmas tree lights and feel secretly glad that we won’t have to see another mince pie for at least 10 months, highlight reels of the last 12 months pop up on social media, like the first flowers of spring we are sure to see sprouting very soon.

It is cathartic to showcase those glossy moments of 2023; I am guilty of loving a wee photo carousel myself. Often though, these aesthetic moments don’t hold the stories of what it is that has helped us to grow over the last 12 months. For me, 2023 was a year where I aimed for progress over perfection. It is only now as I look back, that I can see the small changes I gradually implemented actually added up to create big differences.

Small changes I implemented in 2023:

1. Saying no: 2023 was the year that I realised I really did have too manyplates spinning to try to maintain a fair balance between personal andwork life. Two revelations came out of starting to say no. The first beinghow much more in control I felt when I delegated certain things or onlytook on a realistic amount of responsibility. The other - I discovered Ireally hate saying no to things. 2023 was the year of implementing thehabit, now 2024 needs to be the year of getting comfortable with it!

2. Not using every spare moment to try to be productive: I stopped listening to wellness podcasts and mindset books constantly on my commute and replaced them a lot of the time with content that was just lighthearted and fun. The result? When it actually was time to sit down to be productive, I found my brain was much more engaged

3. Exercising little by little: It is a tale as old as time. I, like many, have tried many a New Year to jump in headfirst and change everything about my diet and exercise in one intense swoop. Last year, I made minor changes and once they were established, stacked more and more habits every few weeks. The outcome of aiming for progress over perfection with exercise has been actually reaching these goals and sticking to them over the last 12 months.

4. Accepting that I am a ‘little treat girly’ and I may as well embrace it.The ‘Little Treat Girly’ phenomenon swept TikTok in 2023. The premise istypically a female that will spend money every single day on things likean iced coffee or an aesthetic acai bowl. A little treat just brightens theday so to speak, but these little treats add up, and so we spend our daysin a cycle of false promises, telling ourselves that today will be the verylast time. It’s never the last time. And so in 2023, I finally just acceptedthe fact that, yes I do spent too much money on takeaway coffeeand with an alarm that goes off at 5am each week day, I believe I amdeserving of my little treats. My coffee now hits different without guilt inevery sip.

If you’re aiming for perfection this January, I hope this serves as a reminder that progress might just take you further in the long run and small wins are still wins. I hope 2024 is good to you and filled with some of the best memories still to come!