The best New Year's resolution for 2021
The start of the year is the time when many people pledge to make changes. These are almost always about some kind of perceived self-improvement e.g. to lose weight, stop drinking, get fit, etc. Whilst these changes may be desired, they are often unrealistic or overly ambitious. Frequently they form part of a list of ‘self-improvements’. They are also often associated with some kind of hardship which leads to reward.
In my experience it’s the hardship or deprivation combined with the size of the challenge or the number of changes that leads to an individual giving up. I’ve also found that the person resolving to change often has no real belief that they can make the change and quite often don’t (deep down) want to relinquish their pleasures... and that’s where being realistic comes in.
I’ve been a therapist for a long time and have worked with many clients who wanted to change something – often many things – but I always start with finding out why they want that change and what they think it will do for them when they achieve it. This is crucial and is often overlooked.
Very often people are looking for improved confidence or greater self-esteem and they believe that being thinner, fitter, better qualified or healthier will deliver this. The bad (and perhaps surprising) news is that none of these things are the magic answer to low self-worth; you can be highly qualified or have a great job and feel unlovable. You can be slim or sporty and still feel rubbish.
Now I’m not saying that there won’t be any benefits to improving your diet or cutting down on your alcohol intake but there will have been a reason why you were knocking back the booze or stuffing your face with cakes, crisps or cheeseburgers. Trying to manage your mood through what you eat or drink is understandable (especially during the pandemic) but it usually makes you feel worse and leads to harsh or critical self-talk.
Working with clients who are unhappy, unfulfilled, anxious or stuck is what I do, but I’m not suggesting you seek therapy. Right now, during the pandemic, the most important thing of all is for you to be kind to yourself. I’m not suggesting you drink yourself to oblivion or eat M&S out of cake, but beating yourself up for not being perfect, not being the best home-educator, not getting out of your pyjamas some days, or not breezing through Covid without crying in the bath when the Covid rules change yet again is just no good. Cut yourself some slack. Be as kind to yourself as you would to someone else. We’re all just getting through this time as best we can and if I can be of service give me a call and we’ll have a chat about how I can help you.
If you’d appreciate a free relaxation recording to support you through these trying times, please get in touch. The only thing to resolve to do right now, is to be kind to yourself... and others.
Book a free chat at a time that suits you or send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to know more.