Every year, around this time. We look back at last year and think about the things that went well, but more often the things that weren’t right as well. As much like the rest of life, often these reflections focus on the negative. We’re raised by society to notice flaws, critique ourselves (often arguably so we can improve) and strive to be the best and most perfect version of ourselves. We can end up being in a cycle of never really noticing when we are enough and have actually done something well. When was the last time you actually congratulated yourself on an achievement and spent some time just pausing for a moment to reflect on it before you rushed on to the next thing on your to-do list? In a way, it stops us from living in the moment and means we’re constantly moving on to the next. I start to wonder if just spending more time in the current could help us to feel happier.
New Year’s resolutions seem to epitomize these feelings of setting yourself up to never to be able to realise your achievements, rather continue to strive for something more that perhaps you can’t even get to. New Years Resolutions and intentions often look at changing you, making you once again strive for perfection. They become lists of rules for the coming year… you might plan to lose weight, eat better, drink more, find a better relationship, be more social… do’s and don’t’s that perhaps you don’t need in your life. Even more reasons and ways to beat yourself up for not being better. It’s a part of the new year that I find pretty frustrating… and I’ve not even gone into all of the body shaming and annoyingly triggering weight loss/dieting obsessions!
This year, I’m taking a different approach. One that I really hope will be better for my wellbeing and enable me to spend a little time appreciating being myself rather than wanting to change everything all of the time. This year I’m focusing on resolutions that celebrate and enhance what I can already achieve and give me to drive to be successful as the person I am instead of wanting to make myself fit into a mould of what I imagine I am meant to be.
My resolutions look a little different to last year:
- To make the most of time with my friends and family; creating memories and enjoying their company
- To find a way to be creative each day; whether it’s crochet, art journaling, colouring or listening to music
- To cut myself some more slack and practice using the good enough principle in my day to day life- I think we are all too harsh on ourselves. Life isn’t perfect and I’m going to try and use my compassionate mind skills to remember that it’s ok to be good enough (carried forward from my 2016 list)
- To read and write each day and develop something I’m good at, moving away from just writing at work
- To make self-care a priority and practice it each day
- To create records of life through my journal, gratitude lists or photos
- To work towards the future; whether it’s through challenging my fears around dating, thinking about getting my own place or managing my money better
- To think about my mental health, not bury my head in the sand when things are hard and to seek and accept support when I can’t do it on my own
- To think about how decisions will impact on me and strive to think about my best interests and not always put everyone else first
- To be ok with the fact that sometimes, on hard days, all I can do is just be and that’s completely ok
2016 has been a challenging year, perhaps 2017 can be filled with more compassion, acceptance and feeling ok with being good enough.