New Years is probably my favourite holiday. I like any excuse to take stock of my life, any chance to pivot toward being better. I usually love making resolutions. Most years, I vow to lose weight, get in shape, and get my mental health in tip-top working order. Every year, I think I will finally figure out how to perfectly tweak and adjust the elements of life, how to maintain that exact rhythm that makes me exist in balance and harmony with my mental illness.
This year, pardon my language, but I’ve decided FUCK THAT.
Everyone always talks about something they want to change about themselves in the new year. Resolutions are all well and good, but often they are just a sneaky way to tell ourselves how we aren’t good enough. As parents, we are always focusing on how we are lacking. We haven’t lost the baby weight; we should keep a journal; we should be more mindful; we should be more patient; we should turn off the TV; we should make more time for music or games; we should we should we should.
If no resolutions, then what?
This year, ask yourself this instead: How am I enough? Every time I want to improve, be better, be more, how can I tell myself that I am already enough?
Part of DBT, part of why it works, is that it is founded on love and acceptance. Yes, you work to improve, but the root dialectical relationship of DBT is that you are already enough, while still able to change. I truly believe our bodies and minds naturally want to be in a state of health; but they also fight to maintain stasis.
Our culture is littered with unhealthy power structures and systems; our minds have learned to find stasis when subjected to the patriarchy, classism sizeism, racism, ableism etc. telling us we aren’t good enough. Unfortunately, our minds don’t always reject those ideas; they latch onto them in weird ways. Once you get in touch with loving yourself, AS IS, and you see how those structures affect your natural goodness and kindness and ability, I truly believe that you will gradually make decisions that make you feel good.
When you believe you are worthy of love and feeling good, you will treat yourself as worthy of that goodness. When you believe you are truly capable, you will pursue your interests. And you body, your mind, your life, will adapt to that as it’s new stasis. It won’t be easy, it won’t be neat and orderly. You will go back and forth. You will never be perfect. Not every moment will be a good one. But if you focus on already being enough, already being lovable, no fleeting emotion, no bad day, no sickness, calorie binge, student loan, or mistake can take that away.
An Anti Resolution
So this year, join me in focusing on how you are enough. How you are good and LOVABLE and ENOUGH, just as you are right now. This January, I’m going to work on countering messages of resolutions by writing about how we are enough and how we can enjoy being enough every day. I’m doing that by turning my mind and challenging my “should” thoughts. Here’s how:
When you think “I should get fit this year”, turn that thought to “What is my body good at right now?”
When you think, “I should lose that weight”, turn that thought to “What do I like about my body right now?”
When you think, “I should get my finances in order”, turn that thought to “What things or memories do I possess that I love right now?”
When you think, “I should enjoy life to the fullest”, turn that thought to “What do I enjoy about this moment right now”.
Whether you follow me on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, please come visit whenever you feel overwhelmed by all the resolutions, all the “shoulds”, all the messages out there telling you that if you just lose weight, exercise more, eat better, etc. you will finally be fulfilled. You can also sign up for my newsletter, beginning January 1, to get monthly extras! I promise you I will have a message of affirmation, I will tell you how you are already good enough!
5 Challenges to Common New Years Resolutions
To start it off, please enjoy this free printable with challenges to 5 of the top New Years resolutions. There’s also space to write in challenges to your own “should” thoughts.
Happy New Year to you all, and here’s to more self-love and radical acceptance in the New Year!