It’s a brand new year, 2017. For me it’s so much more than a new year. It’s a new job, new flat, new city, new everything.
With the New Year come New Year’s resolutions. Posts all over social media, whether the posts are for or against them.
This year I made aspirations. The idea of calling them aspirations instead of resolutions is simple; they are not as rigid and scary. It seems to me that resolutions have an expiry date of 1-2 months and are all conceived 1-2 weeks around New Year. Don’t get me wrong, if you managed to see your last year’s resolution through the whole year, hats off! But I suspect there are very few of us who can say that.
Calling them aspiration seemed to have a bit more flexibility to it.
At the end of the day maybe it’s not all that important what we call them. What is important is that we want to improve at something in our lives, and as long as we implement it the correct way, there is a good change of achieving that improvement. The key is patience and self-love.
This may sounds a little bit alternative opposed to the military ideas we seem to enforce on ourselves- this is the goal- and come hell or high water I must achieve it every single time! Calling ourselves weak willed or lazy or whatever else, should we not make the impossible standard we set for ourselves. But if we allowed for a little flexibility and kindness towards ourselves, maybe our resolutions, goals, or aspirations would last a little longer.
That way the one missed morning promenade run or gym session or eaten chocolate or (enter own rigid resolution) won’t seem like a failure and won’t undo all the unmissed runs or gym sessions - but may be relabelled as “balance”. We are wired to focus on our so called “failures” and rarely celebrate our own victories. As small as they may seem, they are the building blocks to behaviour change and are more significant than you ever could imagine.
Being too hard on oneself has the opposite of the intended effect. It undoes progress. But kindness propels us forward, towards that which we see as a desirable outcome.
Have you set an aspiration for this new beginning?