The Mindful Guide to New Years Resolutions - Thrive Mindfulness & Wellbeing

‘Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life’?’

The Summers Day by Mary Oliver 

So you may guessed if you follow thrive on Facebook that I don’t believe in New Years resolutions. Normally we put off changing until the new year and then beat ourselves up when we invetibly ‘fail’ because of unrealistic expectations.

We can make changes at any time of the year and each moment is a new chance to start again. Take the typical New Years resolutions such as stopping smoking, eating less or doing more exercise. What we normally do is have a goal that’s too big with little idea of how to achieve it or on the their hand we have a more specific goal but have completely unrealistic expectations for example: to go to the gym everyday when we have never been to a gym before. We sign up and start off really well but then life kicks in and we realise we don’t have as much time as we thought, it’s really hard to go the gym everyday, we don’t enjoy it etc etc and we don’t go one day. What often happens then when we fall off the wagon is that we just stop completely. ‘Its  all ruined now’, ‘what’s the point anyway’ etc. With mindfulness we can recognise what would make us truly happy, so we may want to get fit, but maybe a dance class may be more enjoyable than the gym for example. We can set realistic goals so that we change our lifestyle for the long term rather than just January! If we fall off the wagon, no worries, we can treat ourselves with kindness and compassion. This is proven to be more motivating than self criticism. Each moment provides us the opportunity to start again. Just because we are a big chocolate bar or had a sneaky cigarette, it’s doesn’t mean all bets are off, we can just start again!

So this January and for the rest of the year (and your life!) why not try to treat yourself with self compassion and make a commitment to loving yourself!

The self compassion break is key to this! When you are finding things hard, take the time to notice this, sit with these feelings even for a few seconds or minutes and see if you can respond with kindness, perhaps saying to yourself, it’s ok, it’s ok to find this hard!

So tell me what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life as Oliver asks in her poem? Each and every day, each and every moment is a new chance to start again, to make a change. This moment is all we have!

Link to self compassion break:

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