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As the new year approaches, and we’re all preparing to slide into 2022, it is important to remember the greatest gift we can give ourselves is changing the way we respond to anything that impacted our lives negatively in 2021 and the years prior.
If these last few years have taught us anything, it’s that if we cannot change our environment and we cannot change the people around us, the only thing we can change to make our lives better is ourselves.
When we set our New Year’s resolutions or simply start the year with hopes, dreams, and goals, we must remember that we hold the key to making it our best year. Not because it will be perfect or because we’ll get everything our hearts desire, but because of how we respond, adapt, and make the best of it. Because we commit to making the rest of our lives the best of our lives.
So much of our lives hang on the expectations of others, the world, and even ourselves, and these expectations do not always fit who we are or what makes us feel joy. So much of our lives are wasted away on wishing, on the should haves, could haves, and if onlys. So much of our lives are spent focusing on what others did wrong, judging, shaming, or assuming who they are, what they thought, or why they did what they did.
This year, it is time to take back all that wasted time, to empower ourselves to move forward with kindness, love, compassion, respect, and lessons learned.
As I move into 2022, my New Year’s resolutions have shifted. They are less about what I want to achieve, and more about focusing on the basic foundations of my life and my mental health so I can achieve anything my heart desires:
>> Set boundaries for the people and things that do not bring me joy or lessons learned, so I can hold space and kindness for myself and others. Reminding myself boundaries are not there to push those things and people away, but to help me be a better person to myself and to those around me, while learning what’s needed for my growth.
>> Stop assuming that people write what they do on social media to hurt me or that they didn’t respond because I did something wrong. Reminding myself that we don’t know what is going on behind closed doors, on social media, or with those who do not respond. We did not grow up in their community, with their teachings and experiences, nor did they ours, so we must remember to be open to the idea that we all think differently and let go of what does not serve us.
>> Stop abandoning myself when I’m faced with difficult emotions and bad moments. Reminding myself that I am human, and emotions are part of the journey. Each emotion is a pathway to learning about myself and my experiences. If I take time to witness them like a cloud and accept them like the rain they soon will pass (with or without a lesson). The only constant is change and the only negative thing about emotions is how I respond to them.
>> Stop getting caught up in the world of instant gratification and 30-day programs. Reminding myself that just like everyone who once achieved success in their life, they had to work for it. Nothing comes as easy as posting a picture on social media; everything requires our time and effort. I will choose what I want to work on wisely and not shame myself or others for what we choose not to work on or don’t succeed in doing.
>> Stop thinking I have more time. Reminding myself that I only have now. Make a decision, own it, and stop looking back with regrets. Instead learn, grow, enjoy, and make the best of each day, knowing that nothing stays the same. Whatever is going well will change and whatever is going poorly will change, eventually. So, live this moment and respond with kindness, passion, and respect. We can only work toward change in our lives when we know who and where we are now.
Let the New Year, New You begin, but this time with the practical skills and tools needed to make this coming year our best one yet.