So, it’s that time of the year again when most of us have already left our resolutions in the dust. Dreams of dropping 2 dress sizes in, like, a week, or never even being in the same room as a cupcake, or cold turkey social media detoxes, all still remain dreams. Almost all of us will shrug it off, wait until next January, and make some more resolutions.
For years, I totally observed the resolution ritual. It felt SO good to dream of suddenly becoming super skinny, or picking up some new hobby and becoming an expert overnight. I think that’s exactly why most of us make resolutions: it feels good to fantasize about some different or “ideal” you, and resolutions give us hope that those fantasies could, theoretically, become real.
Setting resolutions isn’t the part I got sick of, though. I got sick of the disappointment that followed when my resolutions didn’t happen overnight. It triggered a cycle where I talked myself into believing I didn’t have the ability to make them happen, and, as a result, I would end up just plain hating myself. I hated myself because I wasn’t this perfect ideal I had set for myself, and I blamed myself for not being able to turn myself into that ideal. Cue more resolutions that depicted a version of me that was further and further from who I was.
One year I decided to just stop. I was exhausted and sick of the whole cycle. In fact, for a while, I completely stopped dreaming about becoming a different person; I just didn’t have the energy for it anymore. The funny thing is that this is when the magic happened. The less I wanted to be something else, and focused on who I actually was, and what I could actually do, the more I did, and the more changes I saw. This continued until I no longer had some other ideal version of myself… I was pretty happy with exactly who I was.
This year those bad memories of old resolutions finally felt far away enough for me to venture to start setting New Years resolutions again. I wrote down the first three things that popped into my head: 1) be more proactive about gut health 2) never go to bed without washing my face 3) pick one thing I’m interested in to learn more about this year through books, classes, etc… so so so different than anything I would have come up with back in the day! These were three simple resolutions without a hint of self-loathing. In fact, without realizing it, I had come up with three ways in which I could take better care of myself.
So far, I’ve stuck with my resolutions, and I’m actually enjoying sticking to all three, because even if they didn’t feel as exciting to make as some of my crazier past resolutions, these feel good to do. If you’ve stuck with the resolutions you made back in January, and you’re feeling good about them, then that’s amazing. If, however, you’re frustrated by your resolutions and have either already left or thought about leaving them behind, I suggest you go ahead and totally ditch them.
Just because it’s not January 1st, it doesn’t mean you can’t set some new resolutions for yourself, so instead of thinking about ways in which you wish you were different, or forcing yourself to make sacrifices, come up with some ways in which you’re going to take care of yourself, by doing things you’re going to feel good about doing. After all, if you’re doing something you feel good about every single day for 365 days, that’s a whole lot of extra happiness added on to your 2019!