Well, we’re one month into 2016, and I find February to be one of those months.
I set new goals at the beginning of the year, find some success the first week or so of January, and spend the last two weeks of January fumbling to keep working toward my goals while half wanting to throw everything out the window.
By the time February rolls around, I feel like: who cares about feeling well, taking care of my body, having a healthy mind, and feeling happy and energized? I’m tired and busy and hangry. Can’t I just sit here and zone out?
Oh, and I just want to continue stuffing my face with chocolate and drinking more wine. This is a great idea!
But the next day I feel terrible and I remember, “Ah yes, feeling like crap sucks.”
So here’s the question:
How do we develop new habits – or rid ourselves of old ones we no longer want – without being really hard on ourselves?
How do we accept ourselves as we are, while challenging ourselves to become something better? Can we be happy with our current self if we’re hoping that “self” is stronger, healthier, smarter, friendlier, kinder, and more generous in the future?
It’s easy to toss out all our good intentions for new habits and ways of being when we’ve slipped, but it’s also so easy to be really hard on ourselves when we keep working toward our goals and we aren’t reaching them.
Does it make sense to say, “I’m happy with myself, but I want more.”?
My list of wants is pret-ty long.
I’m currently reading (or actually listening to) a book all about habits – forming them and trying to change them – by Gretchen Rubin called “Better Than Before.” There’s some gems of wisdom in there, and a lot of helpful info on figuring yourself out.
What motivates you? What’s the best way for you to stick with a new habit/goal?
The missing piece, though, is how we handle the fumbles along the way. If we don’t make the “right” choices, the choices that will get us closer to our goals, then how do we respond?
Get mad at ourselves? Curse the universe? Give up in frustration?
Or on the flip side, tell ourselves, “It’s ok – next time”?
That seems a little challenging if “next time” seems to never come.
Should I eat this brownie? No (as hand pushes brownie into face). Oh crap, I said no! Oh well, next time…(as hand pushes another brownie into face). Dammit!!
So here’s what I think we can do:
As we work through this month and the ones to come, trying to hold onto or rekindle the goals we have for ourselves this year, I would like us to remember to be gentle with ourselves in the process.
Let’s tell ourselves:
I am beautiful and strong.
I am intelligent and capable.
I am worthy and loved.
I am fun. I bring light where ever I go.
I am these things now, as I am. Not tomorrow. Not when I’ve lost those pounds, made it to the gym, or learned Spanish.
It’s is precisely because I am these things that I’m able to look forward and see what other things I am capable of and can achieve.
Be gentle with yourself as a person. As a partner. As a friend. As a human being. We’re all in this crazy world together and we’re all working toward the same thing:
We just want to be happy and be our best selves more of the time.
From my heart to yours – may you find gentleness in the process and love for yourself,
In all moments. <3