Most of us welcome a New Year and the opportunity to focus on what we love about our life and also on what could be better. New Year’s resolutions offer a tool to begin re-creating our life by defining and pursuing what we truly want and deserve. In some aspects of our life, all we need is a bit of fine-tuning, while other aspects may require major revamping.
Much has been written about how effective (or ineffective) New Year’s resolutions are, so I leave that topic for others to debate. Two things of which I am absolutely certain are that breaking old patterns can be liberating, and that resolutions can be a useful tool to support change in our lives.
So here is the New Year’s resolution that I know from experience has the potential to transform your life: “In 2017, I commit to taking loving care of myself each and every day.” It is important to note that there is a BIG difference between taking care of yourself (eating balanced meals, getting enough physical activity and enough sleep, drinking plenty of water, etc.) and the much higher bar of taking loving care of yourself. We cannot do our best in any aspect of our lives – family, relationships, career – if we are not taking loving care of ourselves.
There are many aspects of taking loving care of yourself. Among my favorites are:
– Checking in with yourself before you make a new commitment, confirming that you truly have the time, energy, and interest required to fulfill it;
– Saying “no” (or “no, thank you”) to friends, colleagues, or adult family members who demand a disproportionate amount of your time and with whom the giving/receiving ratio is very off-balance;
– Being at least as patient with yourself as you are with those you love;
– Loving your imperfections and recognizing that they make you uniquely and irresistibly YOU;
– Avoiding involvement in other people’s dramas;
– Spending time doing what you really want to do, rather than what others want and/or expect you to do;
– Walking away from relationships with people who do not love, support and encourage you AS YOU ARE
– Expressing love and gratitude to yourself at least as often as you express it to others
Your list may look very different from this one, and I hope you will share some of your thoughts in the comment section below. We can support each other in making 2017 our best year yet, and the commitment to taking loving care of ourselves is an excellent place to start.
Happy New Year!