We are now a few weeks into the new year. It’s notoriously the time when resolutions begin to fall by the wayside, and that inner critical voice starts shaming you for failing. Many people talk about resolutions like they are a joke – because they often are. Based on unrealistic dramatic changes, resolutions give way to the reality of day-to-day life. Work, kids, busy schedules, and emergencies all take precedence over resolutions.
Shush the Relentless Inner Critic
Imagine for a moment that we could set the inner critic in the corner (and in silence) and think about the real world we live in every single day. What if you made one meaningful change for 2020? Make the New Year the YOU Year.
Part of developing secure attachment includes self-regulation. But how can we repair, mend, improve, and thrive when we are in a constant boxing match with ourselves? We often accuse, berate, and demean ourselves in a way we would never treat another person. Perhaps in the new year, it’s time to stop being cruel to ourselves.
Why We Don’t Get Our Needs Met
Doesn’t it seem, as adults, whether it’s being a parent, busy professional, or a caregiver for a loved one (or all of the above!) that our own needs often get set aside and forgotten? This is particularly true for people in “helping” professions – therapists, nurses, doctors, and bodyworkers. In other words, our tribe of people right here are often the ones who desperately need self-care to avoid exhaustion and emptiness.
What Do You Want in 2020?
Common resolutions include a workout routine, weight loss, professional advancement, or the ever-elusive work-life balance.
No one gets super excited about (yay!) counting calories. It’s the idea of a fabulous body that looks sexy in jeans that you want. Or your motivation might be a healthy, strong body that can haul you up one side of a mountain and carry you safely down the other. Not the extra chore of writing down how many leaves of lettuce and tablespoons of dressing you consumed sitting at your desk at work.
Example: I want to lose weight.
Use Instead: Savor delicious, nourishing food every day. (And then eat that luscious meal!)
Relationship goals often pepper our resolutions.
Perhaps you and your partner have drifted apart over the last year. Or maybe the kids, pets, jobs, and life just got in the way of your romantic, intimate times. It could be tempting to start a campaign and debate your partner on ways you can get your groove back. But it might be more effective to enlist your spontaneous, wild side and make a plan.
Example: I want to feel closer to my partner.
Use Instead: Ask your partner on a date and spend quality time together. (And then do it!)
So often, we focus on the end rather than the journey. But it’s the journey where we find unexpected surprises, joys, and pleasures. Often, the end, regardless of the means, is filled with yet one more way we deny, criticize, or fault ourselves for not being perfect. Hint: No one is perfect!
Let the New Year Be the YOU Year and start thinking in terms of what you do want and how incredible you are rather than on all of the shortcomings that leave us empty.
Join Our Attachment Therapy Tribe
In our Facebook group, we talk a lot about attachment and how to heal attachment injury, trauma, and clinical practices. We also talk about day-to-day life – our wins, joys, sorrows, and challenges.
Join the conversation and tell us how you will make 2020 the YOU year where you remember to fill your own cup as well as those of others.
Whether you are a parent, partner, friend, or therapist, your unique gifts can change the world, but doing so will be much more effective if you feel your best and have taken care of you.