do new year’s resolutions make you go UGH?


Everybody makes them. We all read about them (like right now), talk about them, plan them. We all have the best of intentions. Clean slate! Fresh start! Everything will be different this year! Until it’s not.

New Year’s resolutions are kind of like diets for me – they tend to have the exact opposite effect and end up being a huge exercise in shame and guilt. NOT helpful.

Instead, I’m trying something different. I am looking at the beginning of the year as an opportunity for mindfulness and self-care. What do I want for myself this year? And what are some ways to accomplish that?

Taking the approach of self-care is a good one in just about every situation. Self-care doesn’t mean being selfish. It doesn’t mean not considering others’ needs. It means caring for yourself with the same intentionality with which you care for others.

I have learned that being mindful of my big-picture outlook is crucial for my wellbeing. I am a detail-oriented, mostly linear thinker, which serves me well much of the time. But sometimes I lose sight of the “why” of what I’m doing, which – of course – is the point, right? The “why” is what drives your motivation and passion, and is the reason it’s important to pay attention to all those details. Sometimes that gets lost in the busyness and lists, and I can get overwhelmed, discouraged, or both.

So this year, one of the things I want for myself is to celebrate the “why” in my life more. And deliberately stepping back from the details (not abandoning them – my personality type would never let me do that!) is a way to accomplish that.

That means actively taking time to STOP. To stop thinking so much, to stop fretting over the details, to stop worrying about whether the goals have been met. And then, to enjoy the purpose of whatever I’m doing. To remind myself of why it’s important. Why I’m dedicating myself to it. Remembering the big picture is what makes the details, with all their ups and downs, worthwhile.

How will you practice self-care this year? What do you want for yourself, and what are some ways to accomplish that?