top of page

Why New Year, New You Doesn't Work.

New Year - New You?

As my Nan used to say, it's like throwing the baby out with the bath water.

New Year, New You, feels like you are throwing out everything and starting all over again. That’s one of the reasons I don’t like it, it assumes that there is nothing worth keeping.

Imagine, losing all the best bits about you to become a new person at the start of a year. You’re setting yourself up for failure at the first hurdle.

You might think that is a bit pessimistic for a career coach, but it’s about being pragmatic and setting yourself up for success. When you start the new year with a new you, it insinuates there is a big bang approach with lots of changes all at once. Changing one habit is hard, changing you all in one New Year fuelled, optimistic go won’t work.

To be successful you need to take time and make small incremental changes. By doing this the changes are more likely to stick. You’ll have the opportunity to evaluate if you like the changes and if they are working. If they aren’t you can make another small change rather than giving up on the new you because a part of it isn’t working.

It won’t give you new you in the New Year but by this time next New Year you’ll be able to look back and see all the progress you’ve made and that’s when you’ll get a real sense of achievement.

If that all feels too much like hard work, stop reading now and google New Year New You to find your supposed miracle cure. If you’re interested in learning more about how this approach could help you, read on!

Where to Start?

"Those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly." ― John F. Kennedy

Start by taking some to look at what are the best and worst bits of your career or even life in general. Consider what makes the best bits great and what is it that makes the worst bits bad. This will help you identify what is important in your next career move.

Reflect on What You’ve Learnt

“There are no failures–just experiences and your reactions to them.” ― Tom Krause

By reframing your ‘failures’ as experiences it's easier to look at what you’ve learnt and skills you’ve gained from these experiences.

All the experience you’ve gained is valuable and worth something if not now, potentially to a new employer in the future.

Think about it, if you’ve had a rubbish boss, it still teaches you important lessons, mainly how to be a better boss when it’s your turn. You learn the importance of communication, how to delegate properly and not just dump work, you know what to do to motivate people and more importantly what it is that upsets and demotivates people.

If you feel stuck in a job you hate, you’re learning what you don’t want your new job to look and feel like. You can then start to create the job that contains what you do want. For example if you currently hate having lots of red tape and bureaucracy, looking for a role in a new start-up or a smaller organisation where decisions happen quicker might be more your thing.

By taking the time to explore your career warts and all you can fully appreciate all the learning and skills you’ve developed.

What’s the benefit of looking at your failures, surely the start of the new year is supposed to be positive?

Look for the positive in every day, even if some days you have to look harder!

There is a lot of research about having gratitude and its positive impact on your wellbeing. I am not suggesting that you start writing 8 or 10 things you’re grateful for, unless you want to, but taking a few moments to reflect on what is good from your situation every now and then helps you rebalance your view. I tend to take 15 minutes on a Friday to look back at the week

Rather than focusing on what a bad experience it was and how you couldn’t wait to leave, you appreciate what it has given you. It may take you a while to process the situation and realise the positives and that’s perfectly ok. We all need time to stand back and look without emotion.

By searching for the positive in the negative situation, you also improve how you talk about it when you interview. It gives you a great example of how you’ve learnt from an experience so if you get asked that awkward question “when have you failed?” you can give an example and focus on how you made positive changes as a result.

Next Prioritise What’s Important

Now you know there’s several things you want to change, you can identify where it’s important to start.

If you’ve highlighted the below career issues you want to solve:

  • Your relationship with your Boss needs work

  • You don’t feel like you’re learning anything new

  • You want to be promoted by have been knocked back several times in 2022

  • If you’re honest you’d actually like to change direction entirely but aren’t sure where to begin

You’ve identified the Elephant of Change required.

If you’ve ever read Bill Hogan’s “How to Eat an Elephant” you are now seeing the whole Elephant, everything you want to change and it's overwhelming. It can feel too big a task and some people might be put off at this point.

As Bill points out though if you were asked to eat a metaphorical elephant you’d never attempt to eat it all at once. New Year New You is encouraging you to eat the whole elephant and we all know what it’s like at Christmas to feel like we ate an Elephant - it’s not pleasant.

What you actually need to do is break it down into bite size chunks and pick one to start with.

You’d rank them as to what is most important to sort out, if you’re going to change direction entirely you might decide that by default you’ll learn lots of new things and your relationship with your Boss doesn’t really matter if they aren’t going to be your boss in 6-12 months time.

Alternatively you might decide if your change of career direction will take 12 months, your relationship with your boss needs to improve otherwise you run the risk of telling them where to stick their job. It’s entirely your choice.

Get Started

Once you’ve highlighted what is most important, get started and keep moving forward. You might not know all the steps you need to take but by taking the first one you’re moving in the right direction.

Small, yet sustainable changes over a period of time result in big changes and you’ll soon find you’ve achieved what you wanted. You’ll also miss out on the New Year blues that set in about 4 weeks after New Year when you realise all those changes you enthusiastically embarked on haven’t stuck because it was just too much all at once.

If this approach appeals far more than New Year, New You and you’d like some help in exploring how to make positive career choices in 2024, that’s where I can help.

It’s not about a 12 week standard programme, it’s about you taking the time to understand what you want and then us working together on your individual needs. Contact Us to find out more.



bottom of page