A More Gentle Approach to Resolutions



For some, this word can inspire optimism and hope for the New Year. For others, I daresay the majority, it can create a feeling of dread at the looming year ahead. Maybe even remind us of our inadequacies the following year.

While we all know that resolutions are good in theory, in practice…well… how many times have we ended up mid-February with our resolutions completely on the backburner? I’m probably looking at a 100% resolution fail rate of my previous resolutions. Even the ones in elementary school have turned up, at least around March, not prosperous.

I’m not here to talk about the stereotypical resolutions of weight loss or saving money. While those are wonderful and admirable goals. I’m here to have us consider a different kind of resolution: a more reflective one, perhaps a less tangible objective.

One where we are kinder to ourselves and embrace our mistakes. One where we offer the word forgiveness to those around us (including oneself).

As a new mom, I am well aware of the looming insufficiencies I face. I’m sure I’m not alone in that. While thinking about 2019 and all that it might entail for me and my little family, I felt depressed and overwhelmed at what I had wanted to accomplish the previous year and what I feel unattainable in the next.

Then, I took a breath, gave myself a moment and decided.

For 2019, my resolution will be to allow myself the patience I would generally give another, but not myself.

Others that strike a similar chord:

  • Being kinder to ourselves
  • Focus on development, not just big successes
  • Making little changes
  • Looking for the good
  • Being kinder to others
  • Finding reasons to be happy
  • Being more mindful
  • Giving people the benefit of the doubt
  • Executing gratitude
  • Forgiving others and ourselves

Now, once you’ve established which resolution you are aiming for, make it real and manageable for you. For me, I’m downloading an app that can help me keep track of my streaks each day (called Strides, if you’re curious). Find something that you can remember and have some accountability with.

Some measurable ideas:

  • Set a reminder in your phone
  • Have a short task each day and make 5 minute missions
  • Create a calendar with a checklist of ideas
  • Plan weekly check-ins with yourself
  • Include a buddy (whether you tell them what you’re working on or not)
  • Connect it with something you already do daily

At the core, if you do find yourself falling short, remember the main purpose of your newly styled “resolution.” It is not to add more stress, but to work towards creating a feeling of peace and hope in your life. Ultimately, isn’t that what we deserve? Won’t that make us the best that we can be, or at least bring us closer to our best?

You can also do these resolutions in tandem with a conventional goal, but may I point out, that if you miss a few days somewhere in January because you got sick or life happens, please give yourself grace, but do not give up. A few neglected days are not an excuse to stop completely. They are only 4 (or however many days you miss) out of 365. You still have 361 days to aim for more.

Along with this, you can start a resolution at any point of the year! You could be reading this in August and feel inspired, go for it! Why wait until the next Monday, the next month, or the next year? Get going today.

Now, at the risk of sounding mildly cliché, let’s take our new perspective and make 2019 the year where we become enhanced versions of ourselves and remember that we are working on growing and becoming.


shalynn resolutions

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