Overwhelmed with the new year, new you messaging this time of year? I’ve got a new perspective for you this Mindful Monday. This New Year, don’t change a dang thing.
I couldn’t help but notice these past couple weeks all the New Year, New You chatter. Why can’t it be New Year, Same You? What’s so bad about the current you? Why do we need to set resolutions to be a better version of ourselves? What if our present version is the best version? What if you are exactly as you should be right now?
Now I’m not saying that I’m against personal and professional development and goal and intention setting. Heck, I set intentions all the time, basically every time I come to my yoga mat. I’m all about growth and learning and having new life experiences and gaining new perspectives. I have a natural hunger for it. However, I think at a certain point, we as a society have a tendency to take it to the extreme. To push ourselves a little too hard. To set resolutions that we can’t realistically achieve. To get upset at ourselves when we can’t stick to said resolutions. And this only can lead to those all familiar negative vibes – shame, guilt and fear.
It was funny when I came to this realization. It was New Year’s Day and Steve and I were in Vermont for the weekend with a couple good friends. As we lingered over breakfast one morning at our Airbnb, the topic of things we want to change about ourselves in the New Year came up. Pretty sure it stemmed from a very serious, riveting debate about growing out a beard lol. Anyways, we went around the breakfast table and shared things we’d like to work on or change this year. Someone said be more patient. Another said be more assertive. When it got to be my turn, I scoured my mind for my usual go-to’s but I felt resistance to coming up with something. Instead, I said I don’t know, I feel like I’m always trying to change something. To which my friends replied, so you can work on not changing this year. A soft chuckle and a sigh of relief later, I was happy to not hold myself to some ideal, perfect version of myself. To be okay knowing that I already am enough. With all my strengths and weaknesses. Perfections and imperfections. This is the work I do with my clients too. When they hold themselves to an ideal weight that they haven’t weighed since they were 20 years old and want so desperately to get there so they can buy that new outfit, take that trip they’ve been putting off, ask that person out on a date. I work with them to identify their natural healthy weight and to help them realize that there will never be an ideal or perfect time to buy that outfit or take that trip. That perfection and these idealistic goals just don’t exist. Maybe some version of this resonates with you? Have you been killing yourself these last couple weeks trying to stick to your New Year resolutions? I invite you to take some time to re-evaluate why you set that resolution and if it’s realistic for you to achieve while maintaining your health and sanity. I think sometimes we set these goals to achieve what we think is health while discrediting one of the most important facets of health there is – your mental and emotional health! If you’re super stressed out trying to follow through on your goals, take some time to reassess.
I brought up this intention of permission to my yoga class last week because I think we have a tendency to push ourselves in our yoga practice too. I told them to give themselves permission to chill out in child’s pose, to skip a chaturanga, to listen to what their bodies need instead of what I’m offering up to them.
How can you give yourself permission in the New Year? Permission to be the same you. Permission to not have a New Year resolution. Permission to be okay with who you are. Permission to not want to change a dang thing. Sure you might be in the minority of the online chatter that’s out there but I bet you’re in the majority of people who are thinking it and feeling it.
Here’s to a beautiful 2017, my loves.