Starting a new year is always quite...interesting..to say the least!
Being in the last week of January 2022, I look back at this first month; at Christmas & New Year Eve. And I wonder...
How did I manage to jump onto 2022 without falling into the "resolution trap" ?!
I have to admit, I am not one in favour of new year resolutions. Don't get me wrong, I respect and support anyone who decides to have any of those. And this post is not about being for or against. This is more about the curiosity in shifting from yearly resolutions to intentions, via the beautiful act of reflection.
What are new year resolutions? Decisions you make about doing or not doing something within a restricted time-frame, often a whole year or parts of the year depending on how big or difficult you consider the actions/changes you need to make to achieve your goal.
What are reflections? An on-going process of exploring past and present events in view of taking a more objective approach towards them. It is a useful method to gain insight on a situation and realise whether or not you'd like to behave differently in a similar situation in the future. While you can't completely reflect into the future, you can still consider events or interactions that are yet to happen and take a neutral view on how a great outcome would look like for you.
One could say new year resolutions could potentially put quite a bit of pressure on oneself while reflections allow a kind retrospection onto events, perspectives, or experiences. By the act of writing (eg journaling) or talking (eg friends, counselling, coach), reflecting can bring freedom from regrets, and new confidence in bettering yourself in the future.
Why the "resolution trap"? Adding pressure on yourself first thing when ending and starting a new year can be tricky especially
with the past couple of years with the challenges resulted from COVID. With new stress, anxiety, and fears, our mental health needs kindness more than ever. Adding pressure to an already uncertain and volatile time could cause more harm than good in the end. And nobody wants that.
From Resolutions to Intentions. So why not be wild and try to set intentions instead of resolutions in 2022? No, being January, or February, or even September, is not a blocking point to change your mind on this.
YOU do YOU and YOU can change, re-arrange, restructure, differ from what you have originally said or done. Setting an intention rather than a specific goal is going above and beyond the achievement of the one goal. With reflections and intentions, you are turning yourself towards a shift in mindset, a journey towards an evolved version of yourself. Exciting, isn't it?
So be bold, and go for it. Walk on the path towards personal development at your own pace, with the approaches that work best for you. You do not owe your choices or preferences to anyone.
Similarly, you do not owe accomplishing any of the resolutions or intentions you set for yourself.
Remember that, at the end of the day, you are already good enough just the way you are.
All of this is for you to explore ways to better yourself for yourself; to learn and discover more about yourself; to believe and trust yourself; and explore by interest; without obligations, without expectations.