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Here it is: 2023.
Will it be better than 2022, 2021, and 2020? Hopefully, yes.
The last three COVID-19 years have been miserable, for me anyway. And here comes a new year filled with promise, renewal, and that beautiful word:
I am greeting this year with open arms, but one thing I am not doing is making those well-advertised New Year’s resolutions.
Why not? Well, because I don’t usually keep them. Eventually, they breed failure, and every time I mess up it infects my self-esteem and makes me feel like a loser.
Take the gym, for example. How many times have I signed up for a gym membership at the beginning of the year but my motivation eventually fizzles out and I end up just exercising on my own?
Because of my own inconsistent behavior, I have learned to take the word “resolution” down a few notches. Instead, I make changes accompanied by smaller action steps that I can actually achieve and feel good about.
I may or may not join the gym this year, but I’m setting the intention to exercise my body, mind, and spirit in different ways on my own, no matter what. Stretching, yoga, parking far away from a store so I walk more when running errands, enjoying more nature walks, and most of all, listening to the rhythm of my own body.
What does it need today? What am I capable of doing? Do I need to move more today, or do I need to fill my day with rest, meditation, contemplation, journaling, and just “being” time?
Whether we are talking about personal growth and transformation in a physical, mental, spiritual, or emotional sense, we need to be kind to ourselves. We need to set reasonable expectations that invite the level of personal enthusiasm needed to follow through on them.
As this New Year’s rolls around, I urge you to listen to your highest wisdom.
What do you need to change and what are the small actions steps that would help you feel successful in making those changes?
And hey, maybe deciding not to change is change in itself.
Self-acceptance. What a concept.
I am enough. What a great positive affirmation.
Make changes that feel reasonable, and if you don’t keep one or more of them, forgive yourself. Don’t be hard on yourself. Now that would be the greatest change of all, wouldn’t it?
Let’s be gentle, compassionate, kind, and loving to our spirit. If you have a victory in the area of personal growth, give yourself a pat on the shoulder and a loving hug. Maybe a reward, too.
Kids get stars, stickers, and a toy. And we’re just kids in bigger bodies who also respond to small rewards. What would your small reward be?
And while positive reinforcement works, I’d like to encourage you not to beat yourself up if you don’t make the changes you wanted to or don’t achieve your intentions, resolutions, and inner promises.
Every day, and every moment of every day, is an opportunity to try again. The worst thing we can do is brow-beat ourselves because we didn’t do yet another thing “correctly” or “perfectly.”
If your changes and small actions steps are complemented by being and listening to your inner rhythm when it comes to eating, exercising, sleeping, and personal growth, it’s more likely you’ll achieve those positive changes, along with a higher sense of self-esteem, self-love, and gentle expectations.
I wish you a Happy New Year filled with hope and self-respect. There is only one of you. Love the shadow and light within, and please be kind to yourself.
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