We’re getting to that time of the year where those shiny New Years Resolutions are starting to feel like a BIT of an uphill battle.
Or at least it is for me.
But I’ve tried to make some changes this year. Particularly in the way I’m thinking about myself and the reasons I want to make said resolutions in the first place…And I wanted to share, just in case it helps you too.
I believe that in order to accomplish some of our most earnest self-improvement goals, it’s not enough to rely on willpower alone. Maybe you want to lose weight? Me too. Willpower is fine until you’re screaming “FREEEEEDOM” a la Braveheart, clutching a bottle of Pinot in one hand and a bag of Oreos in the other.
Deprivation doesn’t work long term. We’re not wired for it.
The trick, in my experience, is to flip the conversation in your head. To go from self-punishment and deprivation to self-love, positive goal setting and abundance.
Seek to ADD to your life, not to lose something. Rather than cutting out all sugar for the rest of time, add vegetables to every meal and 30 minutes of moving-your-body to every day. NOT because you hate your thighs, but because vegetables clean your blood/curb your appetite and exercise floods your brain with endorphins. Yay! Losing dessert is sad, but ADDING more vegetables is doable. And eat the dessert. #yolo
This can work for non-health related goals too. Is your goal to spend less money? De-clutter? Do less of something? Ask yourself, why. I’m guessing your ultimate goal is something like freedom from stress, more resources for other things, more space, more time. The tactics themselves (less money, less stuff) feel like deprivation. But the GOAL is abundance. Keep THAT in mind while you’re tossing out that sweater you haven’t worn since ’03, and I bet it’ll be easier to bid it farewell for good.
I feel like we should make these healthy, positive changes so that we have more energy & resources for LIVING. Not to punish ourselves for being “screwed up” and different than the “ideal.” I mean, whose ideal is that anyway?
I get it though. I’m tired too.
That’s why it’s kind of a waste of our precious time and energy to worry about an arbitrary “ideal.” I don’t think we’d be so concerned with our dress size if someone hadn’t told us we ought to be. And then on top of judging ourselves, we’re also worrying about whether other people are judging us for not stacking up. We all likely have enough to worry about without adding THAT.
Here’s a helpful perspective I heard recently: You are basically THE rarest and most magical being alive.
Did things just get weird?
Ok. Put a more logical way…Your personal combination of DNA and experiences has literally NEVER been seen before (in the past) and will NEVER be seen again (in the future). You are actually, scientifically, objectively, unique.
So why waste another minute HATING the things that make you, YOU? You are not broken. You’re good different, and your thighs are seriously just fine the way they are.
Why feel like you’re on the outside looking in? You ARE in, just by existing. Self improvement is awesome. Doing it because we feel like we are somehow “wrong” is not awesome. It’s unsustainable.
You’re a magical, statistical impossibility and it’s time to start acting like one.