Do I want to lose weight? Yes, in fact I do. Do I want to eat out less, drink more water, exercise more, and otherwise improve my health? I would love to. In fact, I actually might. Having a resolution for the New Year isn’t a bad thing at all. Somehow knowing that the year I write on my checks has changed makes it easier to break bad habits or to form good ones. However, something I realized in 2016 especially is that even though we all know that change is inevitable, the rate at which things change comes and goes in spirts that are completely unpredictable. I can set goals for myself and not a day later my life can be thrown into chaos by a series of unexpected events.
It’s hard to be graceful to yourself during these times. It feels like we are weak and unable to make a change, when in reality our priorities have only switched and instead of focusing on forming the habit of going for a run every day before work, we focus more on, let’s say caring for a sick family member. Losing focus on a New Year’s Resolution is frustrating, even though it may be for a good reason. I don’t mean to say that we shouldn’t set goals for the New Year or that we shouldn’t try to maintain our focus, however I think that if we can’t set goals and simultaneously give ourselves some compassion to deal with life on life’s terms then maybe we should rethink the motive behind the goal we’re trying to achieve.
We may lose focus, and it may be for a good reason, but it doesn’t mean that we can’t pick up our resolutions after things have settled down. We owe it to ourselves to be granted some compassion and flexibility as life moves in its normal, unpredictable way.
I want to drink at least 6 bottles worth of water a day this year, and I think this goal is very attainable. However it’s not my main goal. I think that at least for me, it’s important to focus on my internal goals as to not throw myself out of balance thinking about how badly I want to achieve my external goals. I made a list to consider every day before I leave for work, and it’s a list I hope will help you as well.
1. To be just as patient and kind to myself as I am to others
2. To turn love into a state of being rather than something to be earned
3. To be balanced in my desire to strive for change and to accept what I cannot change
4. To be open and clear about what I need
5. To see things as they are to the best of my ability, and to not choose to imagine things differently than how they are
6. To let myself feel as deeply as I need to without guilt
7. To not take my frustrations with myself out on others
8. To laugh at myself when I fail and to not let my failures stop me from trying again
Each day is just as new as January 1st is from December 31st. This year, I will not allow myself to get bogged down by my innate human ability to lack perfection. This year, I will keep these 8 things in mind but I will not beat myself up for making a mistake. I can always try again tomorrow, and that’s what I want to embrace in 2017.
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