People often start the new year with high hopes and expectations. January can be marked with a frenzy of new goals, resolutions and promised lifestyle changes. However, research shows that most people fail to keep their resolutions beyond the first few weeks.
On the one hand, the new year is an opportunity to ask with an open hear, how can I grow and evolve this year? On the other hand, the resolutions we tend to make to ourselves can be tough to keep leaving us feeling frustrated and even depressed, a stick to beat ourselves with.
So this year, what would it be like to make one promise to ourselves: Be Gentle.
Be Gentle with Yourself
If you are hoping to launch a healthy habit in the new year—from better food choices to more exercise to improved sleep to less time spent looking at your phone—be intentional about why you’re hoping to make these changes. Be realistic and flexible in your thinking. Goals give your life meaning and direction, be committed but not rigid. Accept and take care of yourself.
Be Gentle with Others
If you are feeling slower or heavier than normal, acknowledge this —you are not alone. Everyone is struggling in their own way, living with fear, with loss, with uncertainty. Everyone, on some level, needs to feel safe, loved and seen. I believe we can never know exactly how someone else feels. It is an anomaly to say “we walk in other’s shoes”. But… we can walk beside, we can try to understand how other people feel or think … one of the great the mysteries of life is that we can never ever really know what another person is thinking. This ambiguity, this attempting to understand and never really “knowing” is our dilemma. How we deal with this is with compassion. Tolerance, Care, Responsibility, Respect, Knowledge and Gratitude.
Be Gentle with the World
To be kind, we need to slow down and notice…if we relate well to ourselves the chances are we will relate well to others. Give yourself credit for the moments you are able to slow down and notice – they’re not as small as you might think.