How do I really feeling about New Year’s Resolutions?
On the one hand, it’s a convenient time to “reset” from the chaos of the end of the year. By now, many of our bodies are feeling depleted and in great need of attention.
At the same time, I often see goal-setting backfire. Many times, people don’t meet these well-intentioned goals and end up feeling worst about themselves.
1. Goals are often created on a foundation of self-loathing. I know that is a strong word. You can also call it rejection of the self or the I’m-not-good-enough syndrome.
Creating a goal because you can’t stand yourself is dangerous. Because in the end, you risk loathing yourself even more for not meeting the goal or finding that even when you do meet it, you still can’t stand yourself.
For those of you who are low in self-compassion, I recommend that you focus on that before anything else! Once you have some tolerance, patience and maybe even love for yourself, making and meeting personal goals will be a much kinder process.
For example, notice how these two goals are rooted very differently:
“I am going to eat healthier this year because I can’t stand my disgusting body” versus “I am going to eat healthier this year because I want to be able to enjoy my body more and treat it better”.
Practice the latter!
2. People expect too much change in a short period of time.
My observation is that big change is actually an accumulation of very small changes over a long period of time. If your life isn’t drastically different compared to this time last year, it’s okay. Don’t sweat it. Notice what small changes you did make and celebrate those mini-milestones.
Personally I like to measure change in 5 and 10 year increments. Most of my accomplishments this year were only possible because I started making intentional choices and incremental changes 10 years ago.
Looking at life from a wider bird’s eye view can make you appreciate how much work you’ve really done and how far you’ve traveled to get to where you are.
Personally, I am stepping into the New Year with great optimism and a heart full of gratitude.
Thank you to everyone who make my work possible. To a year of clarity and possibility in 20/20…