This article was originally published on January 19, 2021 by MontcoToday.
By Rachel Gruen, LCSW, CCTP
The new year brings with it an optimism, the idea that another year on the calendar brings a second chance, an opportunity to fix wrongs and improve ourselves.
New year’s resolutions date back as far as 4,000 years ago, with the ancient Babylonians.
They made promises to their gods that they would pay their debts and return borrowed objects in the new year.
Today, resolutions are often about self-improvement; losing weight, eating better, exercising and getting organized.
“New Year, New You” is the January catch phrase.
Unfortunately, with the promise of a new you comes the massive stress and mental cartwheels of trying to achieve all of your goals at once, right after the clock strikes midnight.
Luckily, there’s been a cultural shift as far as resolutions go. Today, news stories and social media posts center on intentions, rather than the more black and white “resolutions.”
If you say you have resolved to do something, you fear judgment (both from others and from yourself) if you do not accomplish it perfectly.
On the other hand, if you say you’re intending to do something, there is much more room for gentleness and forgiveness – again, both from others and from ourselves!
Just because others are creating these self-improvement lists at a certain time of year, there is absolutely no obligation for us to follow the same path.
Every person has their own journey to wellness on all levels; and you may find that you feel motivated to set intentions in the summer or the fall rather than in the dead of winter.
Whenever feels right for you IS right for you. Don’t feel pressure to set certain types of intentions at a certain time just because you see it happening around you.
If you do feel that now is the right time for you but are not sure where to start, here are a few suggestions for gentle, self-loving intentions:
- Be more flexible (i.e., don’t feel slighted if a friend is 10 minutes late for a meet-up)
- Improve work/life balance (i.e., turn off email notifications for the weekend)
- Try something new (i.e., start a herb garden or take up knitting)
Here’s to a happy and healthy 2021, in all ways, from beginning to end!
The Lincoln Center for Family and Youth would love to support your year-long journey to wellness.
Check out the Lincoln Center’s supportive and encouraging community by visiting their website: https://thelincolncenter.com/