Why I’m Only Making One New Year’s Resolution—And What It Is

Happy 2016! At the dawn of a new year, personal growth naturally moves to the forefront of our minds. Some of us set fitness and health goals; some of us decide to improve our professional and financial situations; and some declare the end of a harmful habit. At one time or another I’ve done all of the above and then some, but this year I’m only making one New Year’s resolution—and I’m sharing it with you here because studies show that when we make our goals public, we’re more likely to meet them. Thus, I hereby declare 2016 the year that I learn to be nice to myself.

As it stands, I’m not very nice to myself at all. I’m hypercritical of my work, my physique, my interactions with others. If I had a friend who spoke to me like my inner monologue does, I’d ditch her in a second. What’s more, I find it incredibly difficult to make choices based sheerly on self-love. When I exercise, eat well, or achieve professional and personal objectives, my motivations stem more from a drive for perfectionism; my own wellbeing is merely a happy byproduct. This reality moved starkly to the forefront this fall when I had a credit for a local spa. I made an appointment for a facial and rescheduled it four times, always because something “more important” arose. Eventually the credit expired, simply because I couldn’t rationalize putting myself ahead of deadlines and to-do’s.

So what does being nice to myself look like? My instinct tells me that a lot of my actions will be the same. I’ll still hit the gym, choose salad over french fries, and stay on top of my emails. Those things keep me sane and healthy. In fact I’ll probably do them more often, with less resentment, because the intention behind them has shifted from “should” to “get to”. I’ll also be making tweaks to my daily routine, such as waiting at least an hour to start work in the morning so I can enjoy a grounding moment with coffee and cats, and actually taking a lunch break rather than scrolling through Instagram while I eat. I suspect that this all-encompassing self-kindness plan will result in some of the more traditional New Year’s changes, too, since behaviors like saving money, getting organized, and keeping the house tidy all fall under the “nice things to do for myself” umbrella. It’s the ultimate all-in-one resolution package!

I certainly don’t expect to become a self-care guru overnight, so I’ll keep you posted on my progress and challenges. My first step? I’ve convinced the spa to extend my credit and have booked an appointment for Monday. Come hell or high water, I’m going to keep it this time. Happy New Year, friends!

P.S. Do you have any resolutions for 2016? Share them with me, I’d love to know! Image source: Mama Watters Instagram.