A Self-Compassionate Guide to New Years Resolutions
As we approach the end of 2023 and eagerly anticipate the dawn of 2024, the familiar phrase “New Year, New Me” starts echoing in our minds. The beginning of a new year often carries a sense of renewal and the opportunity for positive change. However, the tradition of setting resolutions can also introduce immense pressure, creating unrealistic expectations that contribute to stress and disappointment.
What we’ve found at Haven is that an alternative, flexible perspective to new years resolutions and goals can benefit your mental health. Instead of succumbing to the pressure of grand resolutions, we encourage you to explore holistic goals that focus on self-compassion, emotional well-being, and personal growth. As you embark on this journey, consider the following “In” and “Out” guidelines for a more fulfilling and balanced approach to the new year.
In: Being Okay with Not Doing It All
One of the most liberating resolutions you can make is to accept that it’s okay not to do it all. Life is a continuous journey, and sometimes, it’s crucial to acknowledge our limitations and prioritize self-care. Embrace the art of saying no without guilt and understand that self-worth is not tied to productivity.
In: Slowing Down and Feeling Your Emotions
In the hustle and bustle of daily life, we often forget to pause and acknowledge our emotions. Make it a goal to slow down, allowing yourself the time and space to feel. Whether it’s joy, sadness, or anything in between, giving yourself permission to experience and process your emotions is a crucial step towards emotional well-being. Finding ways to feel your emotions how they manifest in your body can allow you to be more connected to yourself and respond in a more attuned way to your emotional needs.
In: Appreciating and Nourishing Your Body
Many new years resolutions often center around weight loss and altering your appearance. Instead of setting goals solely based on external changes we encourage you to cultivate a deeper connection with your body. Nourish your body with the nutrients that it needs, engage in activities that bring you joy, and practice gratitude for the incredible vessel that carries you through life.
In: Connecting with Your Inner Child
Reconnect with the simplicity and joy of childhood. Engage in activities that once brought you pure happiness. Whether it’s playing games, drawing, or spending time in nature, nurturing your inner child can bring a sense of playfulness and creativity into your life. If there are lingering wounds from childhood this could be the time to reach out to a therapist who does inner child work and work on healing your younger self so that you can experience more joy, connected and healing in your present day.
Out: Feeling Shame About Your Body Changing
Let go of societal expectations and embrace the natural changes your body undergoes. Reject the notion that your worth is determined by your appearance. Instead, celebrate the resilience and strength that your body embodies. Research the normal realities of aging and bodies changing due to seasons of life and age and fill your feed with body positivity rather than negativity and encouragement to punish yourself for having a normal, healthy body.
Out: Productivity Anxiety
Release the grip of productivity anxiety and recognize that your value is not solely measured by your output. Embrace the idea that rest and relaxation are essential components of a balanced and fulfilling life. Doing more isn’t always better, and you deserve rest and moments to appreciate how far you have come, rather than being swept away with “what’s next” and how far you still “need” to go.
Out: Feeling Threatened by Others’ Success
Shift your mindset from competition to collaboration. Celebrate the achievements of others, recognizing that their success does not diminish your worth. In a world often encourages competition, we can change our own mindset and how we show up for people in our lives and communities and thrive together on collective growth. Supporting each other can lead to shared victories.
Out: Avoiding Important Conversations
Challenge yourself to engage in meaningful conversations, even if they are uncomfortable. Avoidance only perpetuates issues, while open communication fosters understanding and resolution. Avoiding a hard conversation may relieve your stress in the moment, but it leads to disconnection and difficulties in the relationship down the road. It’s vulnerable and brave to share how you are really feeling with someone you care about, and also one of the most helpful things you can do for yourself and others.
Out: Making Yourself Smaller to Please Others
This one is for women identifying folx especially! Our society often shrinks women and can punish them for being assertive about who they are and what they want in life, but we don’t need to put up with that! Step into your authenticity without shrinking to fit societal expectations and allow yourself to grow – even if other’s don’t like it. Embrace your uniqueness and make decisions based on your values and desires rather than the expectations of others.
As we bid farewell to 2023 and set our sights on 2024, let this be the year of holistic growth, self-compassion, and intentional well-being. Remember, it’s not about the grandiose resolutions but the small, mindful changes that contribute to a more fulfilling and balanced life. Cheers to a year of self-discovery and embracing the journey with an open heart and mind.