In past years I have swung all over the resolution spectrum. There have been years that I wrote page long lists of hopeful resolutions and other’s where I took a staunch anti-resolution stance. I understand people on both sides. Resolutions can feel motivating and inspiring, even if only for a few weeks (or days), but they can also be ridden with anxiety and negativity. This year I have softened my opinions quite a bit and like with so many other similar conflicts I find myself repeating the mantra: “whatever works for you!” The second half of 2016, essentially since I graduated college and ventured into the “real world,” challenged and inspired me. I feel like I have learned a lot in the past months – about nutrition, about movement, and about myself and my purpose. In the last couple months in particular I have connected deeply with a couple of wellness related communities: the Real Food/Paleo community and the Body Positivity community. The reading, listening, and engaging that I have done in these communities was the final catalyst to starting this website and this business. It is a big, exciting, and invigorating step for me! This career shift happens to come at the crossroads of the New Year and a move from New England to central Florida. With so many changes, it is hard not to get swept up in the New Year’s resolution excitement. So, I’ve decided to ride the wave. But I am not making any resolutions to reach specific fitness, business, or life goals. I am not resolving to drop five pounds or get eight hours of sleep EVERY night or drink a gallon of water every day because I’ve tried these goals before and they do not work for me. A resolution contingent on perfection or an end product is doomed for failure and does not inspire me to make meaningful changes. This year I have just one resolution that I intend to apply to all facets of my life and to any goals I make for myself throughout the year:
In 2017 I resolve to base my decisions in self-love.
This sentence is a short, but loaded one for me. Like so many people, I have lived a good majority of my life making decisions based on the (sometimes percieved) needs and opinions of other people instead of my own. It is a natural tendency for me to give a lot of value to other people’s needs in my own life. This can be good. It makes me empathetic and helpful and caring. But it becomes a problem when the needs of others start to overshadow my needs. It is a tired narrative that so many have mused about before. I have read the articles and blog posts, but the message never struck such a cord with me until now: it is NECESSARY to put yourself first. My resolution means that I will be the most important person in my life in 2017. Making a proclamation like this feels selfish and scary to me. I fear that people will percive me as arrogant and self-important. But my SELF is IMPORTANT and deserves to be treated with all of the love and respect I can give it. So while this is daunting, it is also exciting and empowering and feels like freedom. I have some ideas about how my resolution will translate into my life. It may mean saying “no”more to other people, and saying “yes” more to myself, making different decisions about what I eat, and being more vocal about my opinions on issues that matter to me. This is what I can forecast, but I am sure I will have to deal with so many more decisions than what I can dream up right now. I also know that some of these decisions will be challenging to make. Not everything is so clear cut as “you are already overworked, you probably should take an afternoon off.” Sometimes, making a decision based in self-love will ultimately mean dissapointing someone. This might quite honestly be my “biggest fear.” Not much else in this world gives me the same level of anxiety as dissapointing another person when it is entirely in my power to do the opposite. But just because I can do something, doesn’t mean I always should. This is a lesson I have tried to learn many times, and this year I will make a concerted effort to let it sink in once and for all. “Self-love” as a concept has always excited me. I believe it is an important part of health and wellness, and that is the business I am in. On the surface, self-love sounds lovely. But like most important things in life, self-love has layers, and some of these layers can be dark and unpleasant. In my lifelong project of my own wellness, 2017 will be a year that I confront at least one of these layers. So, to reiterate:
In 2017 I resolve to base my decisions in self-love.
I intend to write about where this resolution takes me. I am sure that there will be good and bad that I experience as I go, but I look forward to it all. The way I see it, a life lived based in self-love can only make the person living it kinder, wiser, and happier, even it it drags them through the mud on the way.
If you are feeling inspired to make New Year’s resolutions and want help making ones that will stick, I am offering Wellness Coaching sessions for just $20, plus a free consultation until January 7th. Don’t fall into the trap of making resolutions that are doomed to fail, and then beating yourself up when you can’t stick to them. Together we can plan your New Year based on your goals and personality to make resolutions that will keep you motivated and successful throughout 2017!