Ahh…the New Year and its promise of new possibilities. It seems as if anything can happen, so on January 1st we make resolutions. We set the bar high at this new beginning. We plan to lose a certain number of pounds, exercise every day and never eat another Dorito again. We plan on renovating the entire house, landscaping the yard and organizing the garage. We decide to take on more projects at work wanting to prove ourselves worthy of that promotion we’ve been after. As if that is not enough, we start making resolutions for others as well. Our kids will get better grades in school and our spouse will finally finish our to-do list around the house.
Here is the problem with resolutions: they are nearly impossible to keep, because as soon as we slip even once, they are over! We gain a pound instead of losing one. We miss a day at the gym. We eat a Dorito or twelve. An unexpected car repair means no bathroom renovation. We end up feeling defeated and our self worth takes a beating.
“Mistakes are proof that you are trying.”
I read this on a bulletin board at my children’s school and it struck a chord in me. I happen to think that we can be rather hard on ourselves. The expectations we have for ourselves far exceed anything we would dream of asking anyone else to do. Being in this space causes unnecessary work and worry. This year, one of my goals is to extend more kindness to myself. To see my mistakes as being okay and embrace the learning that they provide. It means saying, ‘no,’ to some requests. It means picking up a book and reading it just for fun. It means sleeping in and unscheduled pajama days. It means more laughter and more silly. It means a messy house that I don’t apologize for. It means less screen time and fewer lists of things to do.
I am looking forward to this new approach to life, love and work. Are you in? Will you join me in being kinder to yourself this year?