By Elisabet Medina
I've been known to be a softee, to be "too nice" as a friend once told me. I find that true for my interactions with others but with myself I tend to be a hardass.
Especially, this time of year for setting goals, achieving and looking at all I intend to accomplish. I have tendencies that lean towards setting high expectations, leaning into the hard tasks, and not shying away from a challenge.
While this persistance has served me well, it has also burned me out to constantly push myself to do more. One more e-mail, one more project, one more mile, always one more and then I can rest.
I am learning that rest is not a reward, its a requirement. Persistance is the tool that I have overused at my own expense.
What if this year I was a little bit softer towards myself? A little bit more gracious?
What if we all took a step back and looked at what we are willing to prune away in order to be the person we envision ourselves to be?
Are we focusing energy on changing perceived weaknesses or are we building up on foundations of our strengths?
Here are some thoughts on setting intentions for this year:
1) Recognize that change is a process:
Of course we would all to like wake up Jan 1st and stick through a weight loss plan through Dec 31st. Yet change is a process, the stages of change model offers a great framework to understand thought patterns that underlie behavioral change from pre-contemplation, contemplation, action, maintainence and relapse.
2) Failure is a teacher
As a recovering perfectionist, failure or even the thought of failing can keep me from taking risks. Yet, taking baby steps and falling is how we learn to walk. There are some lessons that can only be taught to us by failing and picking ourselves back up and trying again; accepting this as part of the process helps to not personalize the failure when it happens.
3) Give something up in order to start something new
I grew up on the idea of girl power and "having it all" and as an adult I am realizing that doing it all is pretty f***ing exhausting. There have been times where I have to reassess my priorities in order to truly devote my time and energy to what matters most. And what matters most changes in different seasons of life. In order to give it my best, I have to do less.
I am not talking about bras although that's important too! I mean call in the middle of the night, pray for me, I have this idea but I am hitting a wall kind of support. We need people. Being an independent woman is great, but being an interdependent woman is better! Empowered women, empower others and the greatest accomplishments are accomplished together.
5) It's ok
Lastly, a friendly reminder that it's ok if things don't pan out how we planned. It's ok if 2017 came to a close and all the check boxes were not checked. We are more than our to do lists, we are creators. Our worth is not based on what we achieve. Build in breaks, retreats, vacations, time to reflect and celebrate right where you are right now. You are worth celebrating!