I cannot believe that we are already more than a week into the new year and so much has already happened. I think everyone was hoping that 2020 would end and with it all of the insanity that the year brought. Unfortunately, viruses, ideas, arguments, etc., do not have some sort of expiration date. I planned on writing this post last week, but I couldn’t really think of what to say. I did not have resolutions written out. I did not have some vision board prepared. If 2020 has taught me anything, it’s that things don’t always go as planned. If we are determined with all of our might to stay on track with things that are just not feasible, we will drive ourselves crazy.
With all of that being said, what can we bring into 2021? As I just mentioned, I don’t really have any resolutions. I would love to tell all of you that my goals involve eating healthy every single day, going to yoga four times a week, and making sure I put “real” pants on at least five times a week. However, when you’re stressed beyond belief sometimes that chocolate bar is what you need in the moment. Maybe the gyms will close again. Maybe we will be quarantined and rely on loungewear for the majority of 2021 as we did in 2020. I have no idea how this year will go.
I think so far this post seems bleak and pessimistic and I honestly did not intend for it to be. I want to turn now to a positive shift: Although I cannot say for certain how 2021 will play out, I do know that I am the only one responsible for my actions and I can decide how I want to consciously enter the new year. It’s not a resolution, per se, but I do have directions that I would like to move in with the coming months. The reason I do not consider these directions resolutions is because I refuse to punish myself or feel bad if they do not play out as I would like. My directions are also not on some sort of strict schedule. So, here we go:
I think this direction will be more difficult than usual, given the state of the world. However, I think maybe incorporating more prayer, meditation, and intention into my daily life would be beneficial for my mind. I am not saying I am going to meditate for an hour each day and write out fifty intentions for my week every Monday morning. Rather, I would like to wake up and maybe not immediately check Twitter for the daily news. Instead I should make my way to the kitchen for a cup of coffee after stretching for a moment. Maybe state one thing I would like to accomplish that day, and thank God for my health. I think even these small steps can help move me in a positive direction.
With this positive mindset direction I would like to move in, I think I want to start journalling. And no, I don’t mean corny diary entries every day like, “Dear Diary <3, Today I ate Goldfish and then argued with my mom… blah, blah, blah.” Instead, I want to log my ideas about things and pay attention to how I am feeling given certain situations. I have always been more geared towards writing and I think this would be a good outlet to practice mindfulness through.
I am not going to sit here and say that I intend to become a body builder by 2022 or that I am cutting out all junk food and soda and happiness. I think being “healthy” is too often prescribed to general physical health only. In my direction of being healthier, I do intend to attempt to be physically stronger and more fit. However, I also intend to try and be mentally healthier (hence the previous direction!). I know I wrote about Developing a Healthy Relationship with Food before, but this is also another huge area of being healthier.
I refuse to punish myself for eating pizza one night. I think having a healthy relationship with anything whether it be food, exercise, or even people, requires leeway. Being upset about eating too many calories one day, not getting a work out in, etc., is not healthy. I am not promoting being unhealthy, but rather being kind to one’s self.
Being Kind to Myself
…and with that last point comes this final direction! I think in general I have to start being more kind to myself. I am actually one of those kinds of people that feels uncomfortable taking breaks. I never allow myself time to just relax. It makes me feel guilty. In the new year I hope to move in a direction that allows me to be kinder to myself and realize I am only human. (In general, I think all moms suffer with this kind of guilt to some degree. If the baby is napping, we should be doing the dishes! Or the laundry! Or dusting something! We need to learn to relax without guilt.)
So, that’s it! I still don’t consider these “resolutions” because I do not intend to be mad or upset or sad if I don’t follow through perfectly. As I said before, if 2020 has taught me anything, it is that things to not always go as planned. We have been required to adjust our lifestyles time and time again this year and guess what? We did it! My deciding to kind of give up rigid resolutions is another way I am personally adapting.