New Year has been and gone. And most likely, so have a few of those grand resolutions you made in December for the “new you” starting January 1st, 2020. But you may have gone out on New Year’s Eve and had a big one, so you moved your start date to the 2nd January instead. I get it, but that little voice inside your head probably had a little go and said something sarcastic like: “Way to go, it is only day two and you are already failing.” Instead of ignoring the silly voice inside your head, you may have allowed it to grow louder and you allowed yourself to feel average that you couldn’t even get it right for one day.
Think back to when you set those resolutions. What were the feelings and thoughts you had about yourself and why you needed to change? Were they feelings of kindness and thoughts of growth? Or were they feelings of guilt and/or self-hate mixed with thoughts of not being good enough? Or something equally nasty? When someone close to you, or possibly a superior, points out something you need to change, how likely are you to alter your behaviour when it comes from a mean-girl perspective? I’d bet it feels crappy and that you are not willing or invested in really making alterations.
So, my question is: Why create mean-girl resolutions for yourself when you make those “new-year-new-me” declarations? Then on top of being mean to ourselves, we make the actions we need to take so radically different from our habitual behaviour that they are pretty much impossible to sustain.
Many of us love to make New Year’s resolutions. If you have and you are in struggle street trying to live up to your grand mean-girl ideas, take this opportunity to redo those resolutions from a place of kindness and growth. Think about all the things you want to change on…
Find a page, fold it in half. On the left-hand side write “Mean-Girl Changes” and on the right-hand right write “Kindness and Growth Changes”.
List and categorise every change you want to make according to the place it comes from and place under the corresponding heading.
Tear the page in half.
Rip up the “Mean-Girl Changes”.
Now focus on your list under the “Kindness and Growth Changes”.
Circle the one change that will impact your life the most.
Now break that change down into micro steps.
Go and do the first step and give yourself a mental high five for achieving your first step.
Do the next micro step the day after… Give yourself a mental high five.
Repeat step 9 until it is just part of your routine. Consistency is key.
Grand New Year’s Resolution: I want to meditate for 20 minutes a day (even though you can’t sit in stillness for more than 5 minutes at the moment).
Start with 1 minute a day for the first week. One minute of stillness and focusing on your breathing is proven to make a difference. Add a few minutes to your routine every week until you get to 20 minutes a day. A slow and progressive micro-stepped journey feels less overwhelming; it feels more manageable and doable. Small consistent changes will help you create behaviour change. Radical changes sometimes feel so harsh, we often firmly resist them. And we give up on ourselves.
Make small changes from a place of kindness.