I usually spend the last two or three months of the year obsessed with the idea of new year’s resolutions. I make a list of habits I want to maintain and goals I want to achieve. I want to get into marathon shape. I want to complete a round of Whole30. I want to stay on top of my planner, so my life runs like a well-oiled machine.
Then once my excellent new year’s resolutions are set, I can enter January with tons of resolve to be the perfect version of myself. I don’t just aim to be better; I aim to be the best. Nevermind the years of failure behind me, each year I feel sure that this year will be the one for real change.
So it may come as no surprise that I'm one of those people who, after making an elaborate list of new year's resolutions, never sticks to them.
It's fine to want to take care of your body and organize the hell out of your life, but it's not going to do much for your quality of life until you're practicing some radical self-care first.
And perhaps the reason I never find that “real change” that I’m looking for is because I am always searching for it in the wrong places. I think if I start a particular exercise regime or cut out certain foods that it will make my life better. I believe that changing my habits will make me happier, but the resolutions I make don’t reflect my priorities. Instead, they reflect an ideal self, one who I put on a pedestal as being better than the person I am.
My resolutions regularly remind me that I don’t think I am enough, just as I am.
So this year, instead of focusing on habit changes, I'm more concerned with changing my perspective. I don’t want to make changes that will affect my body or keep my life organized, but rather I want to modify the way I think about myself and the way I approach the world. I want to start the year off with acceptance instead of trying to fight against myself.
It's fine to want to take care of your body and organize the hell out of your life, but it's not going to do much for your quality of life until you're practicing some radical self-care first. The resolution to lose five pounds can’t hold a candle to letting go of toxicity in your life if you’re looking for something that will really improve your life.
My life is not lacking because I’m still carrying around some extra baby weight or because I can’t figure out how to keep my house clean like a real-deal adult. My life is not going to be SO much better if only I would stick to my meal-planning resolutions finally. I will not be a better person by changing these things.
The negativity I carry around because I don’t feel like I’m enough is what’s bringing down my quality of life.
Feeding sources of negativity, whether it’s roaming into the comment section online or overdosing on political news, are things I need to ditch way more than bread and sugar. Finding a way to make peace with my body, speaking kindly to myself instead of always self-criticizing, choosing love over hate are the kind of resolutions that will make this the best year ever.
Sure, I could probably use a few new life-hacks, but if I can figure out how to love my life in 2017, that will be more than enough. Changing the way I view myself, the way I approach others, the way I interact with the world - these are the things that will help me find real change. And it may not be easy, but it will be so much more worthwhile than KonMari’ing my closet for the fifth time and hitting the gym for a few weeks.