A new year’s resolution is a promise that you make to yourself. A personal decision that once the clock strikes 12, you will commit yourself to improving your life in a specific way. Last year I didn’t make any New Year’s resolutions, because 2020 was not a year for growth, it was a year for survival. I didn’t have the mental or emotional capacity to do a personal inventory of my strengths and areas of improvement, or to consider which areas of my life I would like to focus my effort and energy on as we embarked into the new year.
Don’t get me wrong! 2021 has been heaps better than 2020. We made so many meaningful steps towards normalcy. But 2021 still hasn’t been normal, because even though many restrictions have been lifted, we are still actively living through an ongoing global pandemic. So, this year, instead of making another well-intentioned, far-fetched, goal that might not survive past the month of January, I resolve to not shame myself into wishing I had done it differently or better. Instead, I am going to recognize that our lives today are still super different, vastly different from the lives we lived before March 16, 2020. Give yourself permission to not hold yourself (or your child!) to the same standards you had then.
As we navigate through the holiday season, take time to listen to your instincts, be flexible, and make an effort to enjoy moments throughout your day. This in no way is intended to minimize your struggles. They are real, and they are hard. The hope is that by focusing on moments of joy, it will make the struggles more tolerable. And when the tough get going, ask for help! Model to your children the strength and courage it takes to recognize when you can’t do it on your own.
Lastly, it’s ok to question yourself. Sometimes no resolution is a resolution. The resolve to accept yourself as you are. Take an inventory of your standards, instead of your skillset. We’re often our own worst critics, are you guilty of it too? Self-love, forgiveness, and grace are some of the greatest gifts that we can offer ourselves. Be sure you gift yourself a dose this holiday season.
Michelle – Owner, Clinical Director and Therapist