The best resolution, whether it’s a New Year’s Resolution or otherwise, is to keep resolving.
A resolution is a firm determination to do or not do something. And the reason I think we should keep resolving is because consistency is not about staying on track, it’s getting back on track whenever you fall off because you will. So you may need to renew your resolve many times in order to create consistency. That’s not a problem. Dropping the resolution is.
So if you find yourself welching on your resolutions, its not the end of them, it’s a slip, a glitch, and all is not lost….unless you decide that’s the end of it. Which would be pretty darn unforgiving of you!
I had an interesting conversation with a client the other day about the difference between self-pity and self-empathy. Someone deserving of pity is helpless because they cannot help themselves. Pity objectifies it’s recipient because there’s also a ting of contempt involved.
Self-pity is usually accompanied by negative feelings like shame, anxiety, depression and helplessness. Self-compassion on the other hand allows you to be present with your disappointments and their impact on you with out giving up. It allows you to self-soothe in a restorative way so you can get back on the horse. Through self-compassion, re-activation occurs. Self-pity paralyzes.
So do you see what I’m getting at here in terms of resolving to keep resolving? Self-pity does not regenerate resolve. Self-compassion does. Self-compassion says: ‘I’m overwhelmed by this issue and I need a break. I will revisit it tomorrow.’ Self-pity says “you’re overwhelmed because this is just too hard for you. You don’t have what it takes to accomplish it, because you’re just too damaged. Poor you.”
Which self-sentiment do you think will lead to renewed resolve?
So the next time you’re not sure whether you’re feeling self-pity over dropping the ball on a resolution, or practicing self-compassion, notice how you feel. You may feel tired, you may feel sad, but if you respond by resting or seek support with a clear plan to continue, that’s self-compassion.
If you break a streak and look back over your should three months later with regret, chances are you gave in to self-pity.
Now off you go into 2023! Keep me posted on how it goes….