It’s coming up to 365 days since I commissioned my list of resolutions. Like several years before, I haven’t checked off more than a half of the things I was supposed to do to make me ‘the ideal person’. I suspect this must be the case with most of the people that set out to change who they are at the stroke of midnight on one particular date of the year.
December is like a coin, it has two distinct faces. It’s the time of the year when we take our well-deserved break and indulge in the goodies we craved all year. We get in touch with friends and bond with family and we go out of our way to find out what milestones the neighbour’s baby is racking up. We take it slow at work before Christmas week; the boss is smiling, and your colleagues are more endearing. It’s really just a joyous time all-round.
On the flip-side, it’s also the period we beat ourselves up for not achieving the goals we carefully crafted at the beginning of the year. The people around you will not be too kind either. Whether it’s the lovingly-meddling aunties or the strangers on social media, they will not fail to remind you that you haven’t found The One yet, neither have you dropped those kilos that have made permanent residence around your belly, you haven’t scored your dream job and that car you planned to buy is still a magazine cut-out in your journal.
So we take stock of what we haven’t done and then we wallow in self-pity or scramble to achieve as much as we can before midnight of the 31st of December. When we do not succeed in this gruelling feat, it destroys our festive spirit even more.
This year I encourage you to approach it differently. Take this period of reflection to give yourself a pat on the back. We have had quite a tumultuous year as a nation and in spite of this we still have achievements to celebrate both individually and collectively. While it may be tempting to focus on what went wrong, be thankful for what went right, for the little and big victories, for the delightful surprises and for the simple pleasures.
By all means work on a fresh list of resolutions, for after all we must all be on a continuous journey to be the best versions of ourselves. This time, however, put less pressure on yourself. Be realistic and focus on taking little steps to big accomplishments. In addition to this as you take time to reflect as we wrap up the year, take time to be kind to yourself, to forgive yourself and most of all to love yourself!