Jan. 1, 2020

New Year, New You?

As we evaluate the end of not only a year but a decade (something that hadn’t even crossed my mind until barraged with social media posts about the decade thing), it’s a great time to take stock. I’ve been seeing some fun prompts going around. What is one thing you accomplished in 2019? What is something you are proud of from the last year? What word would you use to describe 2019? Given what a tough year 2019 was for so many people for so many reasons, I appreciate the positivity and cheerful spin. 

No matter how you spin it, however, a new year is meaningful for many reasons. For some, it’s a fresh start with a new baby or a new marriage. For some, it’s a bittersweet marker of a new year without someone. I want to share my perspective on this season and connect with you about where you fit here. 

I have always loved New Year’s Eve. As a kid, it meant fireworks, apple cider toasts, and banging pots and pans. As a young adult, it meant getting dressed up to drink too much and maybe need my parents to drive dozens of people home after a party got out of control. At my current stage in life, it is not only the celebration but the reflection and forward-thinking that I treasure. If you’ve been following me, you know that I am an ardent reader and listener or Gretchen Rubin (as well as her wonderful sister, Liz Craft). They started a different type of resolution list that I tried this year- 19 for 2019. Now, how is this any different from any other resolution? In reality, it’s not much different, but I like the framework and total control.  

I’m drafting my 20 for 2020 list that I hope to fill in by mid-January (I’m not great at arbitrary deadlines). This list, for me, is not a “what do I need to fix about myself” list. Really, I don’t think anyone needs that kind of a list. I evaluate areas of my life that I want to cultivate. Last year, I set goals like, give away a bag of items to Goodwill each month, have canvas photographs printed, average walking/running at least 7 miles a week, and buy a swimsuit that I like. These may seem silly or unimportant, but to me, these were things that I knew would make me happier and support the life that I’m nurturing. I want to have less stuff.  I want to be fit. I want to feel good about myself. So, I looked at ways I could realistically accomplish this. 

As part of this, I am also joining a few accountability groups to help me reach my goals this year. For example, though I haven’t formally written my list, I know that fitness will be part of it. Accordingly, I have signed up for some Stepbet challenges to get me back into the habit of moving. I know that challenges like that, where money is on the line, keep me motivated and I force myself to do my best. I’m also joining a Facebook group that is geared solely toward our 20 for 2020 lists- we all have completely different goals and lists but are going to share and help keep each other going as the year goes on. 

As you think about this, you might be considering a 20 for 2020 list or setting a resolution (or many) for yourself. As you do, I ask you one very important thing. Are you being kind to yourself? Really- are you? Why am I asking you this? Because, throughout my life, I’ve seen goals and resolutions like “lose 10 pounds,” “stop eating sweets,” and “get a six-pack.” While these are all well and good generally, the issue I have is that usually, they are coming from a place of self-loathing. Do you want to lose 10 pounds to get stronger and healthy, or because you just feel bad about yourself? Do you want to give up sweets because they make you feel bad, or is it the same self-loathing that drives you because you think that giving them up will fix something? From my perspective, I would rather see a goal like, “get outside for five minutes a day,” or “call my best friend once a week.” I think we can get wrapped up in certain goals that are not coming from a place of love and then, when you slip from that goal, hit a hurdle, or get discouraged, it’s too easy to add more hatred toward yourself. When you eat that piece of cake at a friend’s birthday party, you now have something to mad at yourself about. Also, goals like that are something that is easy to abandon because it’s hard to sustain and becomes another weapon against yourself. 

Now, if you’re so inclined, sit down and write out some goals or think about whether there is any part of your life that you would like to develop. As you do so, please follow my instruction and approach it from a place of love for all that is “you.” What will help you feel happier, stronger, healthier, more whole, or less overwhelmed? Whatever category of goals you decide to pursue, do it with love and give yourself grace if you don’t do everything perfectly. Remember, “don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.”

I would love it if you would tag me in your posts about goals- I want to support you and see what you all are doing. In addition, if you want to join a Stepbet or the Facebook group I mentioned above, send me a message. I’d love to connect!

Cheers to a healthy, happy and prosperous 2020, friends. 

A group of people standing on a beach

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