Writing New Year’s Resolutions is a great way to begin 2019. What we do with those resolutions determines whether or not they are actually good for us. We start out with great intentions and within a week or so, we are criticizing ourselves for not following through with our grand plan. We didn’t keep to our diet or we didn’t make those phone calls to create new business or we shouted at someone in a fit of anger. Now we’ve turned our good intentions against ourselves and before the end of January, we’ve decided we won’t succeed so there’s no point in trying. It doesn’t have to be that way.
Instead of tearing up your resolutions, I suggest you practice self-compassion. About 90% of our self-talk is negative. Our minds are actually programmed to focus on the negative because our survival depended on it when we were hunters and gatherers. With this awareness, you can make new choices. You can choose to give yourself a break and see yourself as a learner. Change takes time, commitment and patience. If it were easy, everyone would do it. Instead of giving up on yourself, you could support yourself the way a loving friend would do. Instead of focusing on what you didn’t do, you could focus on what you did accomplish. Instead of thinking you failed, you could tell yourself, I didn’t do it yet or I’m part way to my goal.
When you’re embarking on change, it’s helpful to monitor your progress. If you’re working on releasing your anger, for instance, ask yourself:
- Is the intensity of my anger diminished?
- Is the duration of my anger shorter?
- Is my recovery time faster?
- Is the amount of time between angry outbursts greater?
Teach yourself to notice small changes over time. Often we forget how far we’ve come and only see that we’re not at the end of what we hope to accomplish. We can honor our progress better if we imagine a simple line graph from 0 to 100, with zero being where we started and 100 being our desired goal. We can put ourselves where we are today on that line and see how much progress we’ve made. We may not be at the end, but we’re not at the beginning either.
Congratulate yourself on your progress, and celebrate your victories! Make it real. Literally pat yourself on the back or treat yourself to something special. Know that you deserve to feel good about your success, because you do!
For more on self-compassion, manifestation, and being true to your Self, please visit Dr. Paula’s radio show Uplift Your Life: Nourishment of the Spirit.