It’s that time of year again. The time where we all sit down and think about the new year, think about how we want it to look. We think about what we want to change about ourselves, we think of it as a brand new start, a time to jump-start change. When we decide what are resolutions are… those magic goals that will make this year different.
The top resolutions are always things like lose weight, get in shape, stop smoking, pay off debt…. we look at the change in the calendar as a way to do things differently, to achieve those goals we keep putting off.
It’s no secret that most New Year’s resolutions fail, most people give up after a few weeks or months and go back to their old habits. Why is that? Is it because they don’t really want their goals? Do they decide they’re not worth it?
I’m sure for most people it’s a combination of a whole bunch of things, trying to do too much at once, getting frustrated, lacking time or motivation… the amount of reasons we give up are as varied as the resolutions we make.
But the theme of the new year is always change… changing what we don’t like in our lives, our bodies, our environment. We as humans want to change, want to better our selves, want to achieve our goals. We look at our lives and think if we can change that one thing we’ll be happier. We want to be successful then beat ourselves up when we’re not. We look for ways to track our progress, buy books, classes, join the gym, buy fancy equipment. We google “How to stick to resolutions.”
The point is that we want to change, when we feel that discontent we’re wired to try to change it, but we so often fail. We look at the clean slate of the new year and think that now is the time, this year we’ll finally make the change.
What if I told you there are 5 resolutions you can make that will actually change your life? That they can change your thinking in a way to help you achieve your other goals. That they have nothing to do with weight, nothing to do with action you need to take. Instead they are ways to change the way you look at yourself, at your life, and can lead to true happiness. These goals are sometimes harder to accomplish than healthy eating or exercise, are sometimes more challenging than reeling in your spending.
Why? Because they require you to be nice to yourself, and to tweak the way you think. Just like anything they require practice, mindfulness… practice.
What are they?
#1- Be Kind to Yourself- Seriously, when you talk to yourself BE NICE!! Stop looking in the mirror and criticizing what you see. Stop beating yourself up for eating that cookie, for the un-done dishes. Cut yourself some slack, focus on your gifts, positive aspects of what you like about yourself. Celebrate even little accomplishments. When you focus on being kind to yourself that trickles into so much else. You’ll feed yourself better food, encourage yourself when you hit goals. If self-care is a resolution you’ll take that time for yourself because it is kind. Learning to treat yourself like you do a friend is huge!!
#2- Let Go of Fear– Fear holds us back…. big time. You want to start a business but are afraid of failure. You are overweight and afraid of what people at the gym will think of you. You’ve always wanted to go back to school but are afraid you won’t do well… For most goals there is a nagging fear holding you back from accomplishing them. Letting go of fear, or facing it and moving through it and realizing you’re ok can be incredibly difficult. But it can be done. Make it a point to figure out what you are afraid of, then talk yourself through letting go of that fear. When you can take a deep breath, feel the fear, but do it anyway you can accomplish so much!
#3- Look for the Good– Time to Pollyana it up folks. There is sooooo much negativity in this world. So many things we can look at and see the bad. Well start playing the glad game. Find things about any and every situation that are good. Look for what you can learn from the situation, maybe how you can help others in the future. Look for small victories, cultivate gratitude. Thankfulness is never negative, so find what you can be thankful for. Every time you find the good in something, someone, or a situation you’re going to change your brain from negative to positive thinking. It will trickle into how you see the world, your family and yourself
#4- Say what you mean and mean what you say– I know I often try to be compliant, make others happy, but I have learned not to do so at the detriment of my own happiness. When you let your voice be heard whether it’s about where you want to eat dinner, or that you want a raise of at work you empower your own happiness. Don’t beat around the bush, don’t be passive aggressive. If you want something from someone tell them, don’t expect them to figure it out when you never said anything. When you do speak up don’t do so out of anger or frustration and say things you don’t really mean. Speak from your heart, from what you know to be true and really mean it. You’ll find as you practice this that it is very freeing. You start to feel understood, don’t expect people to read your mind, and lose a lot of frustration.
#5 – Let what you do be enough– This falls in the last but certainly not least category. When you go to bed at night, tell yourself “I did enough.” When you make a little progress toward a goal don’t get frustrated that it isn’t more… let it be enough. When you’re feeling overwhelmed by everything you have to do, do what you can, where you can, and let that be enough. We all go into each and every day only able to accomplish a certain amount, with only so much to give. When we tell ourselves that we’re ok, that who we are and what we do is enough we give ourselves permission to relax, to love ourselves, and ultimately that leads to a happier, healthier, more productive life.
Each of these resolutions individually can be a big change, but they all weave together in a way that can give you a positive mindset, let you love yourself, help you be happier, and ultimately end up changing your life.
Here’s to a beautiful new year, and learning to love yourself and your life!!