The end or beginning of a new year is a great time for a reflection. Often this reflection involves new resolutions or re-evaluating goals, whether short-term or long-term. I myself love to take this opportunity to decide to try something new that is outside my comfort zone.
I often do these activities with my high school girls as well, whether it’s a fun little activity about resolutions or setting some goals for the new year. But this year I decided to take another approach. I’ve been reflecting a lot about how we view the new year and why there is such a focus on making resolutions, and I wonder if we’re getting caught up in this constant self-improvement or productivity cycle, or trying to fit an ideal and changing that ideal constantly so it’s never “me”.
As someone who has struggled with mental health, chronic pain and chronic illness all my life, some years it was absolutely just plain triggering to think about goals or resolutions.
So just for a change, I did an activity with my girls last week where I asked them to list three things about themselves that they are grateful for or three things that they are proud that they accomplished this year, or a combination of these.
Although my girls understood the concept and got their pens ready, it took a really long time for any girls to write anything down. A few girls started writing after a few minutes, but the majority of girls really struggled to write even one single thing down. When I asked them about their hesitations they said that it was really difficult, and they just needed more time to think. Or that there’s just too much negative self-talk that they really couldn’t think of anything. One girl said “honestly I have never thought about things this way”.
My challenge for you is to reflect on this idea of constant self-improvement and maybe take some time to be grateful for yourself and for everything that you’re able to do every single day. To be proud of your body, for everything that it has gone through this year. For making it here.
I am so glad I did this activity with my girls. We ended by sharing the sentiment that we are all proud of each other for making it until the end of 2018, and that we will be there for each other collectively for the challenges next year.
I forward the same sentiments to you.