5 things to remember during the 'new year, new you' pressure

Here you are, you made it to January! Firstly, congratulations on making it through the last two years, your survival alone deserves recognition. It has not been an easy ride for a lot of people. So whether you survived or thrived in 2021, here’s to you, a reminder that you are a powerful human with the ability to make it through difficult (and dare I say, unprecedented) times!


More than ever, this time of year can feel like the opportunity to make a fresh start. The opportunity to turn a new page, to brew up something big and plan for the year ahead - something epic and transformational. For some of us, this is a welcome opportunity. For others, it can be a time of pressure and anxiety. Whatever camp you're in, I'm going to share with you five things to keep in mind when it comes to setting your goals and intentions.

1. Focus on what you want

It's so easy to get caught up in what everyone else is doing in the new year - people are sharing their goals and resolutions with everyone and anyone. The overwhelm can set in and make you believe that you too should be running a marathon, travelling more, drinking more water, volunteering, you name it…

There is a quote by Don Herald that reads, “Unhappiness is not knowing what we want, and killing ourselves to get it.” Take this as a reminder that your goal needs to be yours, not your best friend's, an online influencer's or your next-door neighbour's.

If you have a goal in mind, see how easily you can answer a few things about it - what is important to me about x goal?, how will I feel if I don’t achieve x goal? Really visualise yourself achieving the goal. Does it feel as good as you expected? Do you connect with it wholeheartedly?

2. Start small

Not all goals need to be big goals. They do not all need to be or feel transformational, it's absolutely okay (and smart) to start small and manageable, each day is a stepping stone, so make sure your goal setting is realistic. If you have a really big goal you’d like to achieve, break it down into smaller parts so that it doesn’t feel too big to start on.

3. Define, define, define

Take the time to nail down the detail. If you have a goal around improving your confidence, for example, consider what ‘confidence’ means to you personally. If you want to ‘get fitter’, what is your version of that? If you want to improve a relationship, in what way would you like to do that? Being specific is key. It helps create a clear vision of where you are heading. Without this, it can be like shooting at a moving target. Figure out the specifics and write them down.

4. Call yourself out

If there is something you would love to be, do, or have, but doesn’t feel achievable for you, it's perhaps time to tap into what’s going on. Is there a self-limiting belief in your mind holding you back? Something telling you that you are not good enough? Notice how you speak to yourself – if it's unkindly or with negativity, this is the work that must come first. The part where you get out of your own way.

5. Do nothing!

As much as I love goal setting, the most important reminder is that a new year doesn’t require a 'new you'. You are wonderful, powerful and amazing just as you are. If it doesn’t feel like it to you, focus on where the negative thoughts are coming from and what’s making you feel that way. Lean in to self-acceptance and practise self-compassion, and take time to explore yourself with kindness. Figure out what really matters to you and make time for the groundwork. It’s absolutely okay to not have a new goal to work on – you don’t need to do anything at all –all you need to focus on is doing what you need and want to do to be well, feel well and live well.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Life Coach Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Peterborough, Cambs, PE6
Written by Emma Humphrey, Wellbeing & Mindset Coach and Dynamic Hypnotherapist
Peterborough, Cambs, PE6

Emma holds a distinction level diploma in personal performance coaching (via the Coaching Academy). Her mission is to support people through coaching to be well, feel well and live well through making changes in life, career, mind, and body.

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