If you want to make 2020 your best year, consider making it a no resolution new year. If resolutions are meant to be a way to fix your flaws, why not put your efforts into improving your strengths? There is so much anxiety associated with new year’s resolutions as we focus on things we dislike about our current selves. For the new year, find ways to quiet anxiety by finding peace in imperfection and celebrating what you love about yourself.
Why I am Not Making a New Year’s Resolution
Last year I made a list of resolutions to “improve my personal and professional life.” Did I succeed in meeting all of my resolutions – NO. For example, I said I would fill out a “One Line a Day” journal every evening before bed. By April I was behind an entire month and spent hours trying to catch up, only to feel like a huge failure for not being able to follow through such a simple resolution.
The feelings associated with not being able to keep up with the journal were pretty crappy, but in hindsight unnecessary. By 34 years old, I should realize I’m not the best at nightly routines when life is often chaotic. A better resolution: record your happiest moments when you remember.
How I’m Learning to Love Myself
This time of year we hear everyone repeating “New Year, New Me” while writing a list of resolutions to transform who you are into someone better. This is the first year I realize I do not have to fix my flaws with a resolution.
During Savasana of my last Hot Yoga class, the instructor talked about the amount of negativity a resolution can bring into your life. If resolutions are based on a desire to change yourself, that means you lack a sense of self worth. This is mind-blowing at first, to think we all don’t like ourselves as much as we think. But it’s evident when considering our society’s most common resolutions are loosely wellness related: lose weight, exercise more, eat better.
We all forget it takes a lot more than a resolution and 365 days to change our flawed parts. Studies say 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by February for a variety of reasons. I know my resolutions often fail because I’m forcing myself to do something I really can’t to do – like read for ten minutes or write in a journal every-single-night. Resolutions require reflection on personal flaws instead of celebrating all that is GOOD about yourself.
My Goal for 2020
My goal for 2020 is to practice kindness towards myself. Instead of searching for a better illusion of myself by admitting things I am not, I am reflecting on who I already am. My New Year’s tradition involves identifying what goes well in my life – my talents, achievements, helpful habits – and resolving to maintain, protect, and elevate the good.
Today I’m making a list of my strengths, the traits I’m proud of, and putting forth a plan to make them shine brighter. It takes self-understanding, support, and a lot of honest reflection to change yourself – but who says we need to really change who we are at all? Instead of change, I want to grow in the best way possible by nurturing my roots, stems, and flowers.
Can you make 2020 a no resolution new year?
Caitlin Houston is a Connecticut based life and style blogger.