I’m not about to rattle off my list of unattainable expectations for myself for 2016. Am I totally opposed to New Year’s Resolutions? No. Sometimes it takes some goal-setting to turn a new leaf in our lives, to kick off the motivation. To find that refreshment. But do I also think an extensively numbered list of “to’s” leaves room for one to become disappointed in themselves when the early January drive inevitably fizzles out given some time? Yes.
Will I be dissatisfied in myself if I don’t lose the 10 pounds by March? It’s likely. Will I feel like a failure the first time I give into the Big Mac in April (or February) after committing to an all-organic diet? Probably. Will I become disenchanted if I don’t reach my perfectionistic quota of clients I require for myself? Yup. Will I become the worst mom in the world the first time I screw up my promise to effectively discipline my child? You got that right. So, I’m not about to set myself up for some internalized feelings of disappointment that happen when we don’t reach our unrealistic (and sometimes realistic) goals.
This is why my take on this New Year may be a little more gentle, a little more generalized, and a little more self-compassionate. My wish, hope, and want for myself during this fresh start is simple: to try. To try in many areas of my life just a little bit harder than I did last year. Emphasis on the “little bit.” Because I know I’m capable of at least that. Don’t get me wrong, I believe myself to be a hard worker. I allocate a lot of time and energy into many facets. But often I am able to grip this awareness that energy doesn’t always mean trying. When I think of trying, I think of presence, of being, of actively making decisions to do. In the moment kind of stuff. And what’s funny about that is, I sometimes will need a break from doing just that, of being present, as well. So I will try a little bit harder at that also.
I will try with my son. I will try a little bit harder to love him, to cherish him, to play with him, to guide him, to discipline him, and to be very present in our time together. I will try with my husband. To love, to be present with and aware of, to cherish, to need, and to give to. I will try a little bit harder in relationships with my family members, my diet, my self-care, my pets, my home, my friends, and my work. To try a little bit harder in the above because I know I can do that. And last but not least, I will try a little bit harder with myself. Just a little bit harder to love myself, to accept myself, to forgive myself, and to develop myself. So when I do step on that scale months from now and only notice a pound or two of difference (positive or negative) after working pretty darn intensely at it, I will try a little bit harder to be kind to myself about that too.