So, we’re a few weeks into 2017 and I’m here to ask how you’re doing on those New Year resolutions you set for yourself: to eat more green vegetables, get better at doing push-ups, volunteer for a local charity, get more sleep, etc.
Because, if you haven’t been eating as much kale as you thought you would and you still catch yourself staying up a little too late to watch that hot, new series on Netflix… I’m here to remind you that it’s okay.
You haven’t failed and you’re not going to give up.
If at first you don’t succeed…
I know you’ve heard this before, but I’m going to remind you again – because you and I need and deserve to hear it. Just because things haven’t gone according to your perfect little plan, it doesn’t mean that it’s never going to work.
FYI: nothing will ever go according to plan perfectly, because that’s just not how the world works.
But unfortunately, we live in a world that subconsciously and blatantly pressures us to meet high expectations; to strive for something close to perfection. Everywhere we look, there’s something or someone reminding us to keep striving to be the best version of ourselves – to never be satisfied with who we are. We’re encouraged to strive for ultimate success, for a flawless finish. And yet, it’s unrealistic and unattainable to expect that ultimate success. If we miss our goal, we feel like we let our own selves down. Big time.
I get it! And can say me too I totally understand why you’re feeling like you’ve dropped the ball on your New Year resolution list. But fear not my friend. There’s still 346 more days to figure it out this year. 346 more days to tweak it again, and again to make it work for you.
The first step is to be a little (or a lot!) kinder to yourself.
It starts with self-compassion
Do you ever pay attention to the way you talk to yourself? When you’re standing in front of the mirror or talking to yourself as you walk down the street, are you expressing positive thoughts, complimentary comments or are you beating yourself up? If you picked the second one, you’re not alone.
There’s plenty of people who constantly knock themselves down or criticize themselves in a way they’d never EVER do towards friends or people they love. And the crappy part is that even though you might not think it’s a big deal – it is! Because more often than not, we always believe the “lies” we tell ourselves.
We’re going to change that now. It’s time to be kind… to yourself.
Though some of us are quick to assume that being kind to ourselves might be selfish or self-indulgent, it’s actually quite the opposite. Self-compassion is simply you taking care of yourself and embracing who you are – you beautifully imperfect human, you. It’s about giving yourself permission to mess up every once in awhile and make mistakes to learn from, rather than harshly judging yourself whenever you encounter setbacks or wrong turns. It’s accepting the universal truth — life can be and often is messy and none of us are exempt.
I used to talk about this all the time in my course “Self-care is Not Selfish” (and if you want to know more, let’s chat). I could go on and on in full detail, but I’ll tell you this: Self-compassion means treating yourself with the same good vibes you often give to others; and gifting yourself with the encouragement and support you share with others who struggle.
Because if one of your closest friends called you up to tell you they didn’t make it to the gym once in a week after going religiously for weeks with the hope of losing weight, you wouldn’t punish them for it, would you?
So why would you beat yourself up for a little slip?
The dictionary defines “perfection” as: a freedom from fault or defect. Fact: no one (no one) is free of flaws. The idea of being perfect is an unattainable goal for any of us. If you don’t expect other people to be perfect, you should expect the same from yourself. Perfection doesn’t exist when we are focusing the definition on ourselves.
Keep on Keepin’ On
Let’s go back to those resolutions you set for yourself. You can (and you will!) still achieve them, even if you are a few farther behind than you thought you’d be right now.
You know that scenario from behind the scenes of a film, where the director repeatedly brings out his clap board, and claps it over and over – take 1, take 2… take 147? Your life is a movie, and you are the star, and (as you’ve already probably figured out), you’re not going to get it right on the first go. You’ll have mis-takes along the way, more than once. And when you do, you can reset and do it again – even if that means tweaking your execution or changing the whole plan.
Remember: it’s about progress, not perfection. And with one step in front of the other, you’re going to get there. But you have to believe in yourself, give yourself credit where credit is due, and give yourself the freedom to fuck up, screw up and mess up every once in awhile.
Because, it’s going to happen. And when it does, you’ve got to pick yourself up and keep on, keepin’ on. Which might require revisiting your intentions and setting up a new game plan. If you’re stuck, feel free to give me a call! (I like to think I’m an expert at these sort of situations.)
Just be kind to yourself, first and foremost. In the end, your own forgiveness and continued support for yourself will take you closer to success of eating healthier, feeling better, and being positively more productive in 2017 like you hoped for!
I’m Janice Otremba, a professional speaker, facilitator and coach who specializes in Beating Burnout, Lowering Stress and Powering Up Your Happy! Let’s kick your butt into gear with simple, sound advice for beating burnout and powering up your happy. Book a free 15-minute consultation call with me to get started!
Image courtesy of alex_ugalek at FreeDigitalPhotos.net