January tends to be a time for reflection and resolutions. While building our weaknesses is a noble endeavor, why not consider your best friend from high school’s advice in your yearbook to “stay the same,” at least in a couple of areas?
5 Resolutions To Keep Doing In 2020
1) Own Your Strengths
We teach children not to “brag” about their strengths. Unfortunately, this often leads us as adults to downplay our strengths and magnify our weaknesses, even to ourselves. Taking the time to acknowledge the things that you are successful at increases feelings of self-efficacy, self-esteem, and tenacity (one of my strengths, by the way, is a large vocabulary!).
2) Be Bold & Plan For (Some) Failure
As babies, we take risks. It’s how we learn to talk and walk and decide what we enjoy eating. Most of the times it turns out well. We may get a large handful of birthday cake. Other times a parent hands us a lemon and we end up with something really sour. You can’t be bold and creative when you’re afraid of failure. This year, be curious and engaged in the process. Experiment. Then you’ve succeeded, regardless of the outcome.
3) Eat That Birthday Cake
Speaking of birthday cake, did you know that the number one resolution almost every year is to “lose weight?” A piece of birthday cake at a celebration with family or friends will not throw off your long term goals. It’s the summation of your habits that makes the difference, not the exception to the rule. Make a commitment to mindfully enjoy the food you eat with your loved ones. Studies show that this brings more pleasure to the eating experience. And, it may actually help you lose weight as well if that’s your goal.
4) Allow Yourself To Be Wrong
My son used to get frustrated in school when he didn’t feel challenged. He once said, “Mom, I’m just knowing, not learning.” Of course, when he started “learning,” he needed support for “being wrong” on occasion!
This doesn’t stop in elementary school. As adults, we should continue to find opportunities to learn and grow. This may be by starting a new hobby or taking a work promotion. It could also be admitting to mistakes with loved ones. Unfortunately, without challenging ourselves in these ways, we tend to rationalize our behavior, or worse, put the blame on the other parties involved. This year, take an inventory of how you can learn from your interactions.
5) Seek Guidance From Friends
There’s a pervasive message in our culture that women, especially, should be able to do all and be all for everyone in their lives. The road to being overwhelmed is paved with good intentions. There are too many “yes’s” and a lack of support. Ironically, the lack of support is often not because it doesn’t exist, but because we don’t accept it. This year, be vulnerable and open with your friends. Ask for guidance if you need it. Share your struggles. Burdens are easier to carry when the weight is dispersed and other people may help give you perspective if they have a less biased view. Let your friends know in advance how you want them to help. Start by saying, “Can you give me your opinion?” “What would you do in this situation?” or “I just need to vent for a minute.”
As I write this article, it fills me with both excitement and a little bit of healthy fear because I plan to implement these resolutions myself. Here’s to a happy and healthy year full of moments of challenges and insights that provide new opportunities for learning and growth. 2020, here we come!