It’s that time again - time for social media posts everywhere to be proclaiming intentions of growth and change, often with a resounding “New Year, New Me!”
The New Year can definitely bring an air of hope and anticipation with it. We often view a New Year as a new slate - a chance to right some wrongs of the past year, to change old habits and form new ones, to intentionally become a healthier version of ourselves.
It can be an exciting thing to face a New Year with a sense of determination and grit to make real changes in our lives. In fact, setting goals and intentionally pursuing them is a wonderful (and needed) thing if we are to fully embrace the time we have been given on this earth!
Yet in the midst of the hope and excitement of New Year’s Resolutions, don’t forget to provide yourself with one essential ingredient for success…… GRACE
In the process of self-improvement, don’t forget to leave room for forgiveness (for all those inevitable mistakes that will be made along the way).
As a therapist, I know that the path toward healing is often a slow and winding one. It’s a sacred road in my opinion, and one well worth the taking. But it’s rarely a straight, clean path, and it’s rarely the direct result of setting one resolution for a New Year. Instead, it’s the result of repeated, intentional commitment toward making healthier choices, and of the curiosity to keep discovering what “health” truly means to you, in all your uniqueness.
Don’t get me wrong, I love New Year’s Resolutions! I love their promise and their optimism, but I also encourage you this New Year to commit yourself to taking tiny steps toward growth everyday. It’s the tiny, seemingly insignificant steps that lead us along that winding path to healing.
What do some of these tiny steps toward growth look like?
Taking deeper breaths.
Texting a good friend.
Saying “no” to something that drains you.
Saying “yes” to something that intimidates you.
Keeping a journal.
Trying a new hobby.
And a million other things that might represent “health” to you….
So as we all embark on a New Year of promise and challenge, I encourage you to make those resolutions, and to take tiny steps towards them.
But when there comes a day this year where you feel like you’ve failed, or like you’ve taken another ten steps backwards, protect yourself from falling into the pit of shame.
Remember to extend grace: grace for yourself, grace for others, grace for circumstances beyond your control….