Every year I spend New Years day making resolutions, that I know without a doubt, I won't stick to. And every year the same feeling of guilt washes over me come February when I realise I haven't done any of the things I had set out to do. Did you know 80% of New Year's resolutions fail by February? I mean what a negative way to start the year. I'm ditching resolutions all together this year in the hopes it creates less stressful emotions. I didn't even think about resolutions as I was lying around in bed all day binge-watching friends this New Year's day and that is a first for me.
This year I’m not going to do the usual self-loathing that inevitably comes when you realise you yet again didn’t accomplish what you sought out to resolve in the last year (hello weight gain instead of weight lose). Every year for the last few years, I have embraced New Year resolutions with open arms knowing full well, I’d be ditching them all come February/March time then suddenly remembering them come December trying to fight 12 months of “resolving” in a month. I’m not the only one who does that right?
But no more, this year is going to be different. I’m not going to set any resolutions, not even my usual ‘lose weight’ one because I am sick of feeling like a failure each year. Of course, I’d like to lose weight and get healthy- I mean as healthy as a girl with chronic illness can get. But it’s not going to be my sole focus for the next 12 months. I’m not going to start a Pinterest board full of inspiring weight loss pictures, healthy dinners and heart pumping circuit workouts. Because what does it do? What in reality does feeding myself with the notion that who I am right now is not good enough do? It not only damages my self-esteem but makes any progress that I have made in the last 12 months seem unworthy. Progress which can't been seen in numbers on a scale but can be felt mentally. Whilst I believe there are plenty of people that can set resolutions and stick to them, I think for the majority of those in the mental health community it can be self-destructive. Even an attainable resolution like exercising 3 times a week can quickly become damaging when you realise life, anxiety, depression or chronic illness gets in the way of achieving that goal.
There’s this pressure that comes from society that every year there is always some resolutions that we can do to better ourselves. What if our only resolution was to be who we were and grow as a person as we experience the next year? Life is happening every minute of every day and we sure as hell can’t always be working on ourselves when we’re trying to live our life. It feeds into this idea that we need to be focusing on bettering ourselves or changing our lives to have a successful year. I didn’t achieve any of my new year resolutions but I did achieve many things (all of which I mentioned last week). None of that was in any goal I had set but my goodness they’re all accomplishments I can be proud of.
This year, I'm going to focus on simply living and enjoying myself. I've spent so many years forcing myself to become something I'm not or do things I don't enjoy, that I'm finally realising just making it through the year is one hell of an accomplishment in itself. 2 weeks in and I feel better for the fact that I haven't yet stepped on a scale this year, I haven't exercised for any goal other than when I want to and I haven't denied every piece of chocolate for the fear I won't be losing weight.
My usual goals of losing weight, becoming tidier, learning a new skill or changing something about myself have gone out the window. My only goals for the next year is to help more than I've helped in the year just gone, make a difference, live each day in kindness and love myself (by far harder than any other goal but one I'm determined to work on). I want to reach the end of 2018 feeling like I've done everything I could to help those around me. If you can have any goal this year let it be kindness. Kindness to yourself and your pain, kindness to those struggling around you and kindness to a world often in despair. Imagine if everyone ditched the usual resolutions that we're made to believe will make us better people in society's eyes and just tried doing better instead? Be a better friend, be a kinder person (including to yourself!!), be more confident, be gentler, be proud. Be anything you want but don't be that person that feeds into the guilt society makes us feel for being a part of that 80%.
Hey there, I'm Jasmine, your average 23 year old working in childcare and living in England. Maybe Tomorrow follows my journey living with mental health issues and multiple chronic health conditions, all whilst trying to have some fun along the way.
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