It’s a new year! And with each new year comes that list of self-improvements that we like to force upon ourselves called resolutions. Some people dive into the challenge, some completely admit they won’t try any resolutions and yet others feel that they want to enjoy the moments, not put pressure on themselves to meet some strict goals or deadlines.
I realize that I have some resolutions that are probably close to the average person’s list. My resolutions include:
1. Take better care of myself
2. Work out more
3. Eat less crap
4. Sleep more
5. Handle stress better
6. Spend more quality time with my family
7. Get more organized
8. Read more
9. Take a vacation in 2014
10. Be more patient and understanding with my kids
I think making resolutions is a good thing in that they can serve as gentle reminders for things we do seriously want to improve upon, but I also think we don’t want to let the list of resolutions turn into the all-the-things-I-hate-about-myself-and-I-want-to-change-because-I-suck-so-much-right-now list. I believe that resolutions are positive things, allowing yourself continuous movement, not ongoing criticism of what you are not doing “perfectly.”
But there are some resolutions that I want to be the ultimate guides/goals for me that may come before the list above. I like the idea of having a theme. I think from everything I’ve learned in the last 2 years, I’m going to carry the theme of “wholeheartedness” into 2014. (Thank you Brené Brown).
MY RESOLUTIONS FOR 2014:
1. Listen – I will listen more, really listen. Not listen as I’m thinking of my response, but listen to what someone is really saying. I’ve said this before but I falter at it more frequently than I’d like to admit. I want to really, really work on this.
2. Kindness – Mindfulness, compassion, thoughtfulness and kindness all go together for me. I want to make sure I’m consciously practicing all 3 of these together in everything I do.
3. Kind Self-Talk – I am my absolute worst critic most of the time. I am the first person to say to myself “you big fat stupid idiot!” instead of encouragement. When I start bullying myself in 2014, I will consciously remind myself to stop, take responsibility then forgive AND encourage myself to carry on. I will talk to myself like someone I love, not with words far worse than I would say to my worst enemy.
4. Practice gratitude – The emphasis is on practice because we have a tendency to only be grateful when things are good. I will get a gratitude jar and write a little “I’m grateful for…” note EVERY DAY, even the horrible-no-good-awful-stinky days, because…that’s when we need it most.
5. Unplug – yes, that may be a more popular resolution in the past few years but I’m renewing a promise to myself to truly unplug from time to time. I have made significant steps getting away from TV but I want to put down the iPhone, computer and Wii and get outside more with my kids. I am an outdoor person and I’ve completely slacked at embracing the outdoors in the past year or so. Time to put down Candy Crush and go for a walk.
I’d love to hear from some readers what their resolutions are and what they hope to “practice” in 2014. Happy New Year!