For some, Christmas morning, can be full of joy, wonder, and simplicity. I know we don’t all have it so easy, right? But at some point, in our lives, be it as children, young adults, or now; didn’t we all sometime feel so giddy and carefree before the worries, anxiety, depression, etc. started? What happened to us to make us switch to the adults we are today? Where did the innocent giddiness go? I know we all have our assumptions, our beliefs, our experiences to tell us why. For instance, we grew up, got jobs, and bills and responsibilities. Terrible things happened to most of us at some point in our lives that changed it all for us. What was that defining moment(s)? I invite you today to spend some time pondering – what happened to the childlike light inside of you? Why did the light darken, what made it blow out? And how do we fix it? Are there small baby steps, things we can control, to make us feel right again?
When we think of new year’s resolutions, we often get very lofty, too farfetched, too out into the future that these things almost instantly become consuming, overwhelming, and letting us feel like failures two days into the year (when, on average, most resolutions are broken)!
Who wants to go into the new year feeling like a failure?! Not me! So, I am taking a different path this year and I invite you to join me! This year, I CHOOSE something different. When we think of our would-be resolutions, think about why you are choosing it; does it seem like you would be happier? More fulfilled? What is it about that goal that seems appealing? I challenge you to try to think of a resolution that ISN’T simply fixing a “bad habit”. Not eating right? Not taking care of our bodies? Not being kind enough — these are sill simply symptoms of bad habits. Bad habits take a lot of work, a lot of practice and many years perfecting that habit. So how do we expect to change it overnight?! That would mean we are miracle workers and I can hang my hat up on my career because my work would not be needed. How are we so naïve to think this is possible!? Guess what, here is the secret – you ready? Okay, here goes…. habits don’t break overnight! We aren’t that smart as humans yet! Do you know it takes, on average, 17 times of doing something the same way for it to become habit? Think about that, mull that over for a minute. You need to eat right, exercise, say I love you more, open doors for others more, be kind and less aggressive with our children, yell less, feel more upwards of 17 times! Have grace with yourself! Have patience! Before those 17 times happen, we will stumble and mess up double that. It’s how we learn and recover from those slip ups that make us accomplished and successful as people. To label yourself a failure is damaging, hurtful…and unkind. How can be there for others when we treat ourselves so poorly. Instead, consider the time you chose carrot sticks over cake a small miracle! Celebrate it! Remember the feeling you get from accomplishment. Rinse and repeat.
Prepared by Megan Strauss, LPC of Brightside Counseling Services.