New Year’s resolutions can set you up for disappointment. However, I am a great believer in the power of intent. I like the idea of a scheduled opportunity for reassessing how our lives are going. Checking with ourselves how much integrity we have – does our behaviour and lifestyle match our values?
I had a browse through some ‘eco’ resolutions. I think I need something more basic. This year, I’m setting myself some resolutions for mental health. If I keep myself robust and resilient, I’ll have more of a chance keeping the rest of my life humming along (and being able to re-balance it and realign it when it’s not).
Five New Year’s Resolutions for Sanity:
- Be more compassionate towards myself. Ok, so I haven’t planted my spring vegie garden yet (mid-summer). I let my child climb 2 metres up a tree and he fell out onto his head. I bought a plastic bag of carrots. I haven’t written enough blog entries this month. The dish drainer is going mouldy in the sink. I ask myself to remember to speak kindly to myself inside my head. To soften towards myself. To acknowledge that I can’t do everything.
- Welcome mistakes. I cringe a little even writing this. For those times when I’ve failed, said the wrong thing, done something I didn’t mean to, put my foot in it or not measured up to my own standards, to remember that there’s value in unintended outcomes. I can learn something from this – it’s actually useful to stuff up. I don’t have to get it right all the time.
- Say no. I would like to stop and notice when I am about to say yes out of obligation. Every ‘no’ has a ‘yes’ behind it – what would I really feel comfortable agreeing to? Is this what I want to spend my time on? I would also like to remember this with my child when he says no to me.
- Cultivate gratitude. I like how content and connected I feel when I spend time focusing on things to be grateful for. I lack a religious structure to make this automatic, so I intend to deliberately bring it into my life. Some ways are: writing down my gratitudes, including it in conversations with loved ones, or silent thanks in my head. Asking everyone at the dinner table what they are grateful for is always enlightening, and models my values to my small son.
- Celebrate success. Sometimes in the whirl of life we forget to stop and notice when things are going well. I give myself permission to celebrate my successes, whether big or small. For me, celebration usually involves food, music and friends.
What resolutions have you set for yourself this year?