Our biology doesn’t recognize the season. Our body doesn’t know the difference between Valentines Day, Halloween or New Year’s Day
People’s desire to start fresh or to draw a line in the sand and step over the old and into the new has been around a long time. There’s nothing wrong with the desire to say this is my last year of illness, or I’m going to do whatever I value even better (my sport, school, job, art, passion). However, if it’s unrealistic, too much too soon, or tied to an increased level of stress then it’s an invitation not to make the mark and to continue to chisel away at our self-esteem.
That’s often the case! We put unnecessary pressure, not only on ourselves but our body by shocking it into massive change.
Let’s pause and reflect instead.
CHANGE is a Process
Sometimes our New Year’s resolutions seem as ridiculous as tucking in a newborn baby on December 31st and asking the baby to walk when they wake up the next morning, despite their inability to even hold their head up independently, sit, or crawl. We would never put such an impossible task on someone we love. So why then would we do it to ourselves? It’s because we aren’t gentle enough with ourselves. We put too much pressure on ourselves. We don’t treat ourselves with enough compassion. In fact, sometimes we are just downright mean to ourselves.
Perhaps on December 31st we could whisper softly to ourselves, much like to the new baby: “I can’t wait to watch you change and grow stronger over the next year. To witness your courage as you slowly stand back up, careful to regain your balance when you fall. I’ll be right here, ready to hold your hand.”
Let’s create awareness of how our goals are making us feel, I urge you to join me as I flip my approach. This coming year, let’s begin a new ritual to redefine our resolutions by getting clear about how we wanted to feel, instead of what we could accomplish.
I will consider the following in making my New Year’s resolutions in order to improve my self-esteem, instead of tearing it down:
- Set realistic goals.
- Make my resolutions gradual and sustainable. Small changes rather than unsustainable drastic changes.
- Remember that change is a process. Make it attainable, which is by far more helpful.
- Slow down! Make room for subtle shifts which increase my chances of success.
- Be careful not to add more angst than relief.
Let’s welcome the coming year 2017 with a redefined and fresher outlook! 🙂
(c) 2016 viewpointsofandrei.com