It’s easy to get so excited about what the new year can hold that we conger up big plans. We are going to change every aspect of our life that we have felt frustrated about for the last 10 years. “I will get up an hour early every day to do vigorous exercise, stop eating sweets, meditate daily and lose 25 pounds.” Now, at three weeks into the new year, we’ve reached the point when all those resolutions are overwhelming and impossible to hold on to because “real life” runs alongside them. We slide down the slope to despair and self-loathing, setting the tone of our year to failure.
What I have learned is that making grandiose resolutions puts me under constant pressure because I’m not “perfect.” I took on too many changes, leaving me stressed out, riddled with guilt, and running a constant “I’ve blown it so I might as well give up -- I’m a loser anyway” tirade through my head.
I’ve found success with this resolution: This year I will hang on to the good things I am already doing for myself.
If you choose to share this resolution with me, I believe this will be a year of little victories for you and me. Taking care of ourselves is something we’ll celebrate. When we take a walk, or eat a healthy, well-balanced meal, we’ll think about how good we feel and how we’ve honored our bodies. Things as simple as a soak in a hot bath, sleeping, and reading something inspiring are celebrated. When the rhythm of life takes us to a hectic place where emergencies take precedent, we’ll do our best, remain guilt-free, and celebrate the next healthy thing we do for ourselves.
By focusing on the healthy things going on in our lives, we’ll be more encouraged to take that one step closer to better self-care. Since I've adopted this resolution, I’ve found myself doing more good things for me. (It’s like parents who praise their child when s/he is being good soon discover the child will repeat that behavior more often.) During the year, I’d hear a healthy tip and think “I could add that one thing to my life.”
For me, and I hope for you, it will feel a lot less like work, and will show steady progress toward living a more robust life. Celebrate your successes with me this year. What did you do to honor your body and spirit today?