I am not one to make new year resolutions. In fact, I find them discouraging. Typically, they are unattainable.
Most of us wish to be slimmer, smarter, richer, etc. so we resolve to lose weight, work hard, study and exercise more without looking any deeper than these goals. This sets us up for failure. Placing these expectations on ourselves does nothing for our esteem. When we say to ourselves that we “should” lose weight, or stop smoking, it puts us under the burden of guilt. Think about it, what do you feel when you say you “should” lose weight or stop smoking? I suggest it is guilt, and then when you fail it is shame.
Often new year’s resolutions are about reducing our guilt and bad feelings. But if we need to do these things in order to love and accept ourselves, we are doing it wrong.
A better way is to tell myself that I am worth it, worth improving my life. The best resolutions are personal, not performance orientated; they are simple, and in my best interests.
Loving myself is the precursor to genuine change. In my experience, change has come from self-knowledge, not pressure, shame or guilt. My weight loss did not come from a new year’s resolution. It came from understanding why I did not care for myself.
This new year, instead of making resolutions, work out who you are and what motivates you. Get to know yourself and learn to love what you see.
In love, Jenny