The New Year is a time for reflecting on the past, examining our lives, and identifying goals for the coming year. For many people, these goals take the form of the infamous “New Year Resolution.” Most of us have made (and broken) our share of resolutions in the quest for self-improvement. Maybe we decided to study more, stop procrastinating, begin an exercise routine, or give up an unhealthy habit. Undoubtedly, the intentions were good. Too often though, these resolutions focus on fixing something we think is wrong with us, and help to convince us that we are not okay the way we are. When the resolution gets broken (like most of them do), it can leave us feeling guilty and even less motivated. Worse still, the quest for self-improvement can become an all-consuming task, getting in the way of those things that are truly fulfilling. What would happen if this year, instead of trying to change ourselves, we tried to more fully inhabit the lives we already have? The guidelines below are designed to help you make more enriching resolutions:
- Reflect on yourself
Are there parts of yourself that you have neglected? Maybe interests you used to have or causes you have been passionate about? What is it that you really like about yourself? What makes you come alive? Resolve to nourish those parts of yourself in the coming year.
- Reflect on your relationships
Are there relationships you need to repair? People you have lost touch with? Are there people in your life who don’t know how much you care about them? Or maybe there are healthy relationships that you would like to deepen. Resolve to reconnect with others and nurture these relationships.
- Reflect on your life
Are there places you would like to grow, or places where you have been holding yourself back? Are there new things you would like to try, or a change you haven’t quite gotten the courage to make? Resolve to take those risks and stretch beyond your comfort zone.
This year, if you decide to make a resolution, resolve to do something that will enhance your life in some meaningful way. Nourish yourself, connect with others, and allow yourself to grow.
This article was written by Dr. Jennifer Stuart