Before we start resolvin' about all the clutter we're going to dump, the bad habits we're going to stop, the pounds we're going to lose (ie: 2013 is the year I'm going to lose the baby weight….since the baby's going to college….) I'd like to stop everything, offer a pregnant pause, a mindful moment, to propose a radical alternative to the usual New Year's resolutions.
What if, instead of all the self-critical ways we beat ourselves up about what we should change, how great we'd be if we weren't so lazy, tired, distracted… What if, as a radical departure, we spoke to ourselves with the kindness, compassion and empathy we offer our best friends.
What if we challenged ourselves to come up with a list of ways we hope to become our best selves in a kinder, gentler way?
For example, here are a few New Year's Resolutions offered in this radical new spirit:
Resolution 1: I resolve to do my best to shut off (or at least soften) the mean-girl voice in my head that offers a constant soundtrack of criticism.
Resolution 2: I resolve to have more patience with my impatience as a parent. Most of the time, I'm a spectacular mom. When I'm not, instead of feeling wracked with guilt and self-loathing, I resolve to quickly solve whatever problem has arisen, apologize to whichever child whose feelings I've hurt, and move on.
Resolution 3: I resolve to tell my truth more, to ask for what I need more, to demand I be heard more.
Resolution 4: I resolve to remain committed to my current routine of exercise, and mindful, healthful eating. I resolve not to berate myself for not doing enough, not running enough, not pushing hard enough (see Resolution 3), and instead, being proud of myself for dragging my old self out each day and moving forward.
Resolution 5: I resolve to work harder to find support, to allow myself to accept help, to ask for comfort, to risk vulnerability.
Resolution 6: I resolve to forgive myself for not being someone for whom gratitude comes easily. I'm sorry, Oprah, but keeping a Gratitude Journal ends up feeling like a food diary which ends up making me feel like I've taken myself hostage.
Resolution 7: I resolve to try to forgive one person against whom I am holding a long-standing grudge.
Resolution 8: I resolve to forgive myself for all the grudges I can't seem to release just yet.
Resolution 9: I resolve to spend more time with my excellent posse of friends and less time regretting why I don't spend more time with my excellent posse friends.
Resolution 10: I resolve to spend a few minutes each day reminding myself about my resolutions.
Wishing you all a kind, compassionate New Year filled with peace, health and love.