OFF THE BEATEN PATH PSYCHOLOGY AND WELLNESS
KRISTY MCCONNELL, R. PSYCH. 
AIRDRIE, ALBERTA PSYCHOLOGIST
RUN WALK AND TALK, EMDR THERAPIST

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Guest Post: A Note On New Year's Resolutions

January 11, 2019

I’m coming to you from the other side of New Year’s resolutions. You know. The side where you’re sneaking some cookie dough out of the freezer on a bigger and bigger spoon every time you go downstairs, and where you just decided an extra rest-day was in order, since climbing stairs continues to present a huge obstacle after your first leg day?

 

This Year I Resolve to… Be Unresolved

 

Every year you see ‘New Year, New Me’ all over social media, online and on TV even before the new year. As soon as people shovel that last bit of turkey and stuffing in their mouths, they are posting online about how THIS WAS GOING TO BE THE YEAR where they reach their goals.

 

Quit smoking. Dry January. Meditate. Detox. Run a 10k. Get fit. Lose 40lb. Get stronger. Travel. Read more….

 

And don’t get me wrong, these are all noble and healthy goals, and people aren’t being disingenuous in posting them online. They genuinely believe that with the turn of the calendar, some planning and new-found willpower, they’ll finally be able to ‘be good’ more times than they were in the past. But, nothing has really changed in their lives except the ‘2018’ they keep crossing out and rewriting to ‘2019’.

 

This Year Will Be Different

 

I hear so many of my friends talk about how they are finally going to ‘be good’ this year. And as they whip out their veggies and hummus, they’ll remark that they’re ‘being good” and then a few days later, when they walk back in after lunch holding a Wendy’s cup, they will sigh, and lament that they are mad at themselves for breaking their diet, because they were being ‘so good’. As women we admonish ourselves hundreds of times a day for choices we make. Our first fail at ‘being good’ in the new year is just another drop in the bucket of negative self-talk that swirls in our heads year-long. “Why can’t I just BE GOOD?!?!” we wonder over chips, Netflix and self-loathing.

 

Don’t Be Good, Be Kind

 

So this new year, I proposed to my close friends that instead of trying to ‘be good’, maybe we could try to ‘be kind’ instead. And the number one person that needed our kindness? Well, it was us. What if instead of focusing on ‘being good’ by sticking to our diets and working out, we flipped the internal conversation and decided to ‘be kind’ to our bodies by moving them, and feeding them fresh vegetables and delicious fruit more than nachos and cookie dough? What if we stopped the negative narrative in our brains criticizing our abilities to ‘be good’ enough for our jobs, our children, our friends and family, and focused on being kind to ourselves when we made mistakes, said the wrong thing, or tried a new recipe that Pinterest swore was SO EASY but tasted like a barn floor?

 

What if we started the new year not trying to be anyone new, good or bad, but just with a new promise to be a little kinder to ourselves? Ten days after the new year, when you’ve maybe wobbled on your resolution and commitment to your new diet, or your meditation regime, may I offer you a kind little reminder that the fixation on ‘being good’ may not always be good for you.

 

About the author:

 

Brittany is a writer, blogger, and is decidedly average: In my quest to become anything other than ordinary, I discovered that there is beauty, and hilarity in just being who you are.

 

You can check out more of her decidedly awesome humour, wit, and charm at www.survivingaverage.ca or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/survivingaverage/

 

 

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