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Kervin’s Corner: The social media-borne cliché ‘New Year, New Me’ doesn’t work

Let’s put a little extra time into bettering oneself and a little less telling everyone about it.

We hear it all over social media, so much so it could now be considered a cliché, “new year, new me.” Every social media user hears it again and again, especially just days before New Year’s Eve. Sure, New Year’s resolutions are great but only if sincere.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with bettering oneself, no one can argue that. But do we need to share it with the world? In fact, it’s better to keep it to oneself, one study suggests. Proudly proclaiming that I’m going to stop one of my habit-forming vices to everyone may, according to the study, be detrimental to one’s progress.

The reasoning goes like this – the more one shares their goals, receiving praise not yet earned from everyone could mean someone may be less likely to even go through with it. Some might say that it keeps one accountable, but does it?

In some cases, people can actually become less accountable the more they share their New Year goals. Sharing your newfound dedication with all social media users doesn’t actually keep one accountable since likely none of them will take the time to keep you accountable.

Do you really believe that one classmate from grade 12, who you added to social media on a whim but barely remember, is going to check up on your new year, new me progress? Likely not.

It’s completely fine to tell people about the noble pursuit for a “new you.” It’s exciting, it’s something to be proud of, but why do we feel the need to share it? A new you is something you should achieve for yourself – not for others. And who’s to even say the old you is even worse to begin with?

You’ll always have a new you. It doesn’t matter whether it’s close to a new year. I live each day waking up as me, but I could choose to eat a different kind of cereal that day – I guess that makes me a new me. What I’m saying is this, it’s the decisions each day that decide who you are.

Let’s not wait until the end of the new year to matter-of-factly declare a new me. It starts at the beginning of each day. It’s much more gratifying knowing you did some small thing each day to better yourself, knowing you’re better for it at the end of the day. Instant gratification from others or recognition for a job well done can only go so far when looking for a new you.

But if you feel the need to share your goals, do it with a small group of family and friends you trust – they’re more likely to help you make it a reality. The new year, new me thing is very well about yourself, bettering who you are as a person; it’s not about shouting from the rooftops for all to hear.

Regardless, we will now have to wait for the inevitable Facebook statuses to roll in as we’re about to celebrate the start of a new year.

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