Kindness in the New Year

The New Year? I know, I know, we’re not quite there yet. Believe me, I don’t want to rush the holidays! At my house, we’re watching more than our fair share of Hallmark and Netflix Christmas movies. BTW, be sure to watch Dash and Lily if you haven’t – trust me on this one! With that being said, I actually don’t want to talk about Christmas right now. I want to talk about how to make 2021 feel significantly different. Let’s face it, this hasn’t been the most stellar year, right? Since there’s a good chance that we’re a little down on ourselves this year, I think it’s a good time to look ahead.

Thirteen years ago, I made the best new year’s resolution ever. Frustrated with always making and breaking them, I decided to make only one – to be kind to myself!

My every thought guided me to look at my thoughts and actions a little more deeply.

  • That regret for a decision I made the year prior, was that being kind or was that beating myself up?
  • That procrastination with working out, was it kind to postpone my health?
  • I constantly said yes when I wanted to say no. Was that being kind to myself or was that putting others’ desires ahead of mine and then resenting them for it?
  • Was I being kind to myself by staying in a marriage that was never right for me – even though he was a good human being and didn’t do anything to hurt me? For that matter, was I being kind to him? (spoiler alert: I was not.)
  • Is self-kindness eating that piece of chocolate, or would it be kinder to eat a piece of fruit? That was one of the trickier ones, because the answer changes according to the situation – but that is the beauty of asking these questions.

I learned so much from that experimental resolution. I didn’t turn my life around in a year, and life was far from perfect just because I started to look inward. Instead, it was messy and murky. I made so many mistakes and fell down, oh-so many times. But the one thing that stuck with me was that it WAS kind to keep asking the questions. It was kind to keep striving for something, even when I didn’t know what that “something” was. Life looked like this: fall down, get back up, ask the question: ”Was that kind to myself?” Learn from my mistakes, do a little better. Rinse and repeat.

Life today looks so much better and I am so much happier. And yet…I feel a little bit of a reset is in order. I feel that I have been so focused on taking care of the necessities that I have lost myself a little, or maybe a lot. Maybe I’m not alone. It’s time to reclaim myself and time to reclaim kindness. Will you join me?

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