Today I’m not talking about food or recipes. I want to talk about the new year, and new year’s resolutions, in particular.
Every year it’s the same thing.
Messages to “live it up” through the holidays, indulge in whatever we want. Then, it’s time to make up for those indulgences in the new year. Set things right with New Year’s resolutions, to…
Detox. Do yoga. Lose weight. Eat Clean.
Meditate. Volunteer. Hit the gym.
Look better. Do better. Be better.
The assumption is that we haven’t already been working on these things. That it’s “now or never”, rather than appreciating the personal improvements we’ve already made, or the steps we take daily, monthly, or during certain phases of our lives.
We tend to forget some of the accomplishments and improvements we have made in the past year. I have. Haven’t you? Seems we should make a list of these things every month so that we can appreciate them at the close of a year.
I’ve been reflecting these past few weeks. Christmas and the holidays are not always easy for me, and I suspect many moms feel the same. The weeks (and months) leading up to Christmas are mind-boggling. Like a mental marathon of things to keep up with and attend to.
For me, I think there’s another layer. While I love the time I share with my family during the holidays, Christmas itself leaves me feeling a little empty. It might be partially because of my past and sad times through the fall and winter. Those memories and times are not so easy to shake off, even as adults with our own families. Also, because we don’t have extended family gatherings, I guess I have this need to deliver holiday happiness for the girls on Christmas. No pressure, right? 😉 So, yeah, it’s no surprise to me that I can feel a little blue and anxious during the holidays.
New Year’s delivers the same. Again, I love hanging with the family on New Year’s Eve, and creating traditions. But one tradition I don’t enjoy is the looming feeling that we must better ourselves come January 1st. Why?
How about accept where we are come January, and understand it’s part of our life’s journey? Sure, let’s take time to assess new things we’d like to achieve or how we might strive to become healthier and happier. Yet, so many of us feel this need to accomplish one or more of these goals in the very short-term. As in…
Lose any weight that first week? (No? Oh dear.)
Missed 2 days at the gym already? (So much for commitment!)
Off the juice cleanse already? (Where’s the willpower?)
It’s as if we start the New Year telling ourselves we aren’t already good enough. That we must improve. And, if we slip on one of these New Year’s resolutions or goals, then we are already failing in the new year.
When, in reality, another month or day may bring that awareness and ease that stimulates the change we desire. Most of our goals are met in the very long-term, yet our mentality for improvement in the new year is quite short-lived.
I’m done with these “new year, new you” messages. I’m already internalizing these new year expectations and it’s not a good feeling.
I’m a great person, with a good heart. I give and love and do the best I can. Whether January 1st, August 1st, or December 31st. I know I have areas of growth and things I want to change, yet this new year, new you mentality is not supportive.
So, this new year: I’m going to be try to be more at peace with who I am. As I move towards new change, I’ll celebrate the small steps. Whatever day or month. When I slip or feel I’ve let myself down, time to remind myself that this too is part of the journey. Being present brings us more happiness than thinking about what we need to achieve, or ruminating about the past.
I’m not sure where all of you are at this time of the year. But if you’re feeling some of these emotions, you certainly aren’t alone. I invite you to join me, to just breathe and take it one day at a time. Loving who you are the best you can, and celebrating when you do make changes that bring you more happiness – whenever that may be.
I wish you all joy, peace, and love today, and all of this new year.