Putting Self-Improvement in Perspective

In the New Year, instead of trying to come up with a new me, I’m going to try harder to love the old me.

Posted in , Dec 30, 2016

Putting self-improvement in its place

The other day, one of my writer friends shared an ad with me on Facebook that had the following headline: “New Year, New You.” My friend commented, “This headline is ready for retirement…yes?”

Yes, please! That headline is as overused as “Buy one, get one free” or “Our biggest sale ever!” And yet it appears endlessly around this time of year as retailers push products aimed at helping us be better versions of ourselves in the New Year. “Lose weight on a new elliptical machine!” “Cook perfect, zero-calorie dinners all with one pan!” “Never get another wrinkle in 2017!”

I’m definitely ready to say goodbye to the message “New Year, New You.” Instead, I’m going to embrace two different messages that I stumbled upon a few weeks ago. One was on the bathroom mirror at work. A note left there by my co-worker Danielle Lyle, who sometimes leaves anonymous messages of inspiration around the office.

Read More: 3 Simple Words of Encouragement

“Write down your insecurities,” her note said. “Leave them here, below.” The arrows underneath the text pointed to the garbage bin.

The second message came to me while I was walking in my neighborhood. It was scribbled in white chalk on the wall of a building: “Love others as you love yourself.”

I think self-improvement is a great idea and, of course, I’m always going to want to better myself. But, this year, instead of trying to come up with a new me, I’m going to try harder to love the old me. The one who’s been around since the 80’s, the one who can’t cook calorie-free dinners in a single pan, the one who God loves flaws and all. That way I can love others more completely too.

What about you? What are your resolutions for 2017? 

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