“The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.”
It’s that time of year again, when we come up with a list of all the things that we wish to change about ourselves or accomplish over the next year. Unfortunately, studies show that only 8% of us keep our New Year’s resolutions. Those are not encouraging odds. Maybe part of the reason why that number is so low is because our resolutionsoften begin with the idea that there is something wrong with us, or some part of us that needs to be fixed. For many of us, that critical inner voice can cause us to freeze, as we start to fear that we won’t reach our goals and will end up feeling even more inadequate. Self-improvement can be a very honorable intention but it can also become another reason to beat yourself up.
How many years in a row have you resolved to lose weight, exercise more, get out of debt, or find your soul mate? And how did you feel at the end of the year, when you realized that you hadn’t accomplished what you set out to do, only to make the same resolution all over again? All too often, the feeling this brings on is one of failure and believing that you are a failure is not a great way to start the new year. It’s also won’t help you gain the confidence you need to reach your goals in the future.
Rather than making the same resolution you always make and then beating yourself up for failing this year (and the year before), try listing the things you have accomplished in 2015. List the things you love about yourself, what you’ve succeeded at and the wonderful memories you’ve accumulated this year. Write down all of the things you learned or new things you tried. I’ve been doing this for years and I’ve noticed that sometimes I’ll do something new for no other reason than because I want to make my list of new experiences a little longer come December 31st.
There’s also no reason to allow the calendar to constrain you. Empower yourself to make changes, start over and reinvigorate your life when the time is right for you, even if it happens to be at 3:00 PM on a Wednesday, in the middle of May.
When you set yourself up to feel like a success and remind yourself of the things you are proud of already, you are much more likely to be motivated to achieve the kind of success you really desire in the coming year. If you would like some help feeling motivated, call (212) 335-0511 or email info@DrChristineNYC.com.