I don’t want to be a party pooper but making new year’s resolutions can be hazardous to your health. While all of us should set goals for the year ahead, setting unrealistic ones can cause stress and disappointment.
So, how do you set a goal that is realistic but that doesn’t harm you? That’s what we’re going to discuss in this piece.
What is a Resolution?
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, there are four basic definitions of the word resolution. According to the online dictionary, a resolution is “the act of finding an answer or solution to a conflict, problem, etc.: the act of resolving something: the ability to show an image clearly and with a lot of detail.”
Let’s take the above definition apart and see how each one affects us in the new year.
The act of finding an answer or solution to a conflict, problem, etc. This is the most common definition that most people believe the word resolution means. We are met with conflict and we find the answer to resolve it. While this is a noble goal, some conflicts and problems aren’t easily answered, and we can become frustrated when we fail to measure up to what we meant when we resolved to find the answers.
A good example might be finding answers to ending the inner conflicts that cause us to feel uncertain or anxious. While we can resolve to move in the right direction in our healing journey, deciding that this will be the year all our mental health issues are resolved is too ambitious. We need to give ourselves more room to breathe and admit to ourselves that it is okay to not have all the answers.
No one does.
The Act of Resolving Something. So many get caught up in disappointment with themselves because they can’t find the answers today. However, sometimes the best way to resolve a problem is to flow with it and allow us to heal.
There are no quick answers in therapy. Your therapist doesn’t have all the answers and even if he/she did, it would be detrimental to your health for them to give them to you. Just like everyone else, we must find our own answers and sometimes that takes time.
The ability to show an image clearly and with a lot of detail. I realize that this last definition of the word resolution is speaking of the resolution of a photograph, but how apt it is to us as well. When attempting to resolve a problem it is vital to first look at it and see it clearly and in detail.
How can we heal from a traumatic childhood if we refuse to see it in reality?
How can we free ourselves from the drama and trauma of healing if we can’t sit back and look at it in reality?
In other words, the first really huge leap in healing happens when we decide to see our past and our present in clear and well-defined clarity. Yes, we endured as children what no child should ever need to endure. However, it is also true that we are adults now and have the power to change our lives for the better.
But, we must decide to accept ourselves past and all. We are who we are, and our past is the past but also the present is brighter and our future assured if we resolve to make it so.
Resolving To Do Nothing
There are times when it is better to not do anything and just as deciding to do something is vital, so is doing nothing. Just because it is the new year, for example, does not mean you must make binding decisions for the future. In fact, you are better off if you allow yourself to heal in your own time instead of pushing an unachievable agenda.
There are times when doing nothing is the most prudent thing to do especially when it comes to life situations that can overwhelm us. It would be ambitious but also possibly damaging to decide that in this new year 2020 you will find a partner and get married. Maybe you are ready for marriage, then making such a resolution might be okay. However, if you are not ready due to issues from your past, getting married might be harmful not only to you but to your potential partner as well.
Be Kind and Gentle With Yourself
One resolution that all of us should make is to be kinder and gentler with ourselves in the coming year. You and I have been through a lot in our trauma-filled pasts and deserve respect and gentleness for ourselves. No one else knows the heartache we have been through in our lives better than we do ourselves. It’s time we acknowledge how strong, resilient, and special we all are.
There are times when tooting your own horn is a good practice. Sit down with a piece of paper and truthfully write down your accomplishments. Be honest now, and not judgmental. The first thing at the top of your list should be how brave you are to be facing your past head-on. Many people run from doing that task, yet you are running toward it. That takes raw courage.
Remember to list how resilient and ambitious you are because that is the perfect description of a survivor. We have faced insurmountable odds and yet here we are, still living, still kicking, still fighting on. That is something to be enormously proud of and a major accomplishment.
My Resolution for 2020
I hereby resolve to attend exercise classes here in the building where I live at least twice per week. That is a goal that is attainable and realistic. I have already been attending the exercise classes, yet I need to make sure I attend them more regularly.
The resolution to attend exercise leads to my second resolution, to improve my physical health. This isn’t just a resolution it is a priority because I do not wish to die young because I neglected my body. You see, I live in a wheelchair, have diabetes, am extremely overweight, and not in good overall health. So, this resolution is one I need yet if I fail to improve my health or miss an exercise group or two I will not be angry with myself.
I am, after all, only human and so are you.
Happy Resolving Everyone
I wish all of you the absolute best in the year 2020. It’s a new decade and a chance for a fresh start. Don’t waste the chance to make resolutions that are reachable and attainable and be gentle with yourself should you fail.
After all, failure is how we learn the best.
Take excellent care of yourselves and I promise I will do the same.
“On an important decision, one rarely has 100% of the information needed for a good decision no matter how much one spends or how long one waits. And, if one waits too long, he has a different problem and has to start all over. This is the terrible dilemma of the hesitant decision maker.” ~ Robert K. Greenleaf
“Who can really say how decisions are made, how emotions change, how ideas arise? We talk about inspiration; about a bolt of lightning from a clear sky, but perhaps everything is just as simple and just as infinitely complex as the processes that make a particular leaf fall at a particular moment. That point has been reached, that’s all. It has to happen, and it does happen.” ~ John Ajvide Lindqvist