Written by Stephanie Harper.
I’ve always approached New Year’s resolutions with a certain level of discomfort. So often we resolve to quick fixes and instant gratification. Or we make goals that are either unrealistic or too nebulous, resolutions we’ll never be able to keep and lead to setting ourselves up for failure.
This isn’t entirely our fault. The very concept of the New Year’s resolution has become a marketing tool for diet, fitness, and self-improvement industries, among others, and our consumer-driven culture gobbles it up.
But I think my discomfort with resolutions runs deeper than all of this. These resolutions are often so inwardly focused, so self-centric and ego driven. Now, don’t think that I don’t believe in working on yourself. I’m a great believer in taking care of your body, mind and spirit in whatever way is needed. And, I love the idea that all of us can strive to be better versions of ourselves.
I’ve found in my own spiritual questing that, often, the way we improve ourselves is to shift to an outward focus, consider what we are emitting out into the world, how we are interacting with the people and environment around us, and to let that self-reflection make us better.
The founder of a writing group I belong to asks us to choose a word of the year each year. It’s a lovely practice for both personal and professional growth, to focus your goals and intention around a single word. I’ve been trying to implement this practice as my own version of a New Year’s Resolution for the past few years. And for 2019, I chose lovingkindness.
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