Well, here we are in 2017, and I think it’s safe to say that most of us are ready to see the back of last year. Between political craziness, the loss of too many creative icons, and a general feeling of uneasiness in the world, I’m ready for a fresh start.
I do love the New Year for the potential it brings in terms of a clean slate and the chance to make big changes. And yet, in the past, I’ve ended up putting pressure on myself to fix all the things that are wrong with me. My goals have included losing weight, exercising more, doing a better job of keeping in touch with people, and on and on—a long list of things I’m doing wrong.
But a couple of years ago, I started to change my outlook. Instead of treating myself like something broken that needed fixing, I began looking for my potential and making progress with the things I’m doing right. I wrote a post about it last year, Looking for Potential. Do take a look as I think you’ll find it a kinder, gentler way of approaching the New Year.
So, as we go into this year, I want to encourage you to be kind to yourself, too. Instead of trying to fix a laundry list of shortcomings, perhaps you could look for where you’ve made progress over the last year and focus your energy there.
For example, let’s say you have a friend who you’ve avoided because her children are the same ages yours would have been and you can’t bear to see her. Maybe you ran into her last year and realized you’ve missed her company. Could you set a goal to reach out to her, give her a call or send a quick email note, maybe broach the topic of getting together?
Or perhaps you’ve been reading this blog for a while or working your way through my, or someone else’s, book and you’ve hit a spot where you feel stuck. Maybe a goal would be to find a therapist, counsellor, or support group and get some additional help.
This healing process takes time. Oh, man, does it take time! But progress is made by inching forward a little at a time. So, don’t try to take giant steps forward. Instead, be kind to yourself and take the tiniest, most doable step possible, something you can actually accomplish and feel good about.
How could you inch forward on your journey this year? What’s the smallest, no-sweat step you could take? Let us know in the comments, and if you need a little encouragement to take it, just ask.
For now, I wish for you a genuinely happy new year.