It’s December 30, and I am wondering how YOU are feeling today? With 2016 right around the corner, are you giving yourself the opportunity to reflect on this past year? Have you sat down to make a list a list of your resolutions? While many of you might be answering “yes” to these questions, I encourage you to be kind to yourself throughout this process.
Perhaps this was an amazing year for you. Or, perhaps you are noting the things that did not go quite right this past year. My hope is that you can find the compassion in your heart to embrace all that has occurred this past year, learn from it, and move forward. Often times, we set high expectations for ourselves around this time of year that are well intentioned and filled with hope. However, we can also become unnecessarily hard on ourselves when we don’t meet these expectations. For example, maybe you did not save as much money as you intended; maybe you did not spend enough quality time with friends and family; or maybe you did not take the time to be kind to yourself this year.
When we focus on what we did NOT do enough of, we often feel sad and angry with ourselves. I encourage you to do something different this time around:
Step One: Give yourself the time to reflect on this past year’s events non-judgmentally. Be an objective observer and notice these events without engaging how you “could have” handled things better.
Step Two: Thank yourself for your perseverance. We often don’t give ourselves enough credit for the every day accomplishments. Thank yourself for them and FEEL the gratitude.
Step Three: Make one goal for yourself for the year. Whether it’s making more time for yourself, drinking more water, or spending more time with those you truly value in your life, establish one goal. Having something to strive for gives us hope. Making a list might make us feel overwhelmed and less likely to pursue anything.
Step Four: Be kind to yourself throughout this process. We can’t change what happened in the past. It’s behind us. However, we can be kinder to ourselves by acknowledging our humanity, forgiving ourselves, and learning from this past year.
Happy New Year, everyone. May this year bring you much self-compassion and acceptance and may you be open to the abundance of your life.
About the Author
Dr. Cristina Dorazio is a New York State licensed psychologist and owner of her private practice, Unity Psychological Consulting, PLLC. She earned her Ph.D. from Columbia University and her specialties include: women’s reproductive health, couples counseling, mindfulness, and career coaching. You can find more information about her practice at: www.unitypsych.org.