We have all fallen victim to the allure of New Years resolutions before. I myself have seen many a year where I promise a challenge or resolution for myself and then by spring I’ve either made excuses for myself or found out that the resolution I chose for the year wasn’t one that I wanted to continue with and have abandoned it.
I think the main issue with New Years resolutions is that we set the bar really high. We tell ourselves that we want to be skinnier this year, or more successful, or find a meaningful relationship. We set our expectations at what we think will make us truly happy, what we think will fill the gap in our lives.
I know that I’ve definitely fallen into this trap. And when you set goals that are that big, they are really daunting. I also feel that connecting it with the new year sets a timeline for our goals, and one that is likely far to short to realistically accomplish what we want. Having this timeline sets us up for internalizing the idea that we are not enough, or are a failure if we don’t finish our resolution within that year.
This year I am changing my mindset. I’m not going to set a specific goal like loosing said amount of weight or making a certain amount of money for the year. I will set goals that can be more encompassing and compassionate for myself like being kinder to myself, letting myself enjoy a day of indulgence every once and a while and not feeling guilty for it because it may not be productive, and staying healthy. Healthy doesn’t have to be kicking butt everyday and looking like a super star, it can be feeling strong in my body and taking care of myself day to day.
This year instead of setting lofty goals I’m going to take it day by day, and encourage myself to do certain things not because I made a New Years resolution but because I feel that it is right for me. If there is anything that this pandemic taught me it is to expect the unexpected, but also to roll with the punches. I can do the very best I can for myself and those around me everyday, but I can also forgive myself for things that did not get done or accomplished in the way I wanted to.
If you made it through this year that’s a huge accomplishment in itself. A new year doesn’t require a new you, just your own acceptance of yourself. I think we would all be a lot happier if we were truly happy with ourselves.
And if there is anything that 2021 could use it is more happiness.