The New Year is upon us and has brought with it the season of resolutions – an endless barrage of messages demanding that we improve our lives. Although some resolutions stem from a desire to improve our overall health, they are often deeply rooted in the belief we are not good enough to reach our dreams. Changes which come from criticism or shame are not sustainable in the long-run and will not lead to the health we are seeking.
The reality is we are already perfect, but we are surrounded by messages that we are not enough. They teach us our bodies are problems to be solved and our worth is contingent on reaching the unattainable.
Ask yourself: Why do you want to set this resolution? Do your motives come from criticism and shame? If the answer is yes, just remember no decision made from these beliefs will lead to health.
The solution is not in learning how to create more realistic resolutions but in shifting the beliefs behind them. You don’t need to be changed or bettered – you only need to see yourself more clearly.
What could happen if you are able to release these limits and begin to treat yourself as already precious and worthy? The threat to your humanity disappears and you are able to freely embrace the possibilities.
Consider these questions:
- How do I want to feel?
- What makes me come alive? How can I bring more of this into my life?
- What do I need to fulfill my true purpose?
- What message do I want to send through my everyday life? What legacy do I want to leave?
- What prevents me from loving myself as much as I deserve? How could I remove some of these obstacles?
Approach these questions with curiosity and use them to define a new kind of resolution – an intention to stop caring about your body and others’ perceptions, and start caring for yourself. This year, usher in an era of saying “yes” to what calls to your heart and honors your authentic self. Give yourself permission to seize the moment and live your life to the fullest.
About the Author
Dr. Jenny Copeland, Clinical Psychologist, practices at Ozark Center in Joplin, MO. Dr. Copeland specializes in the treatment of eating disorders. She has extensive experience in psychological assessment and treatment of people with diverse clinical concerns. Visit ozarkcenter.com to learn more about Ozark Center services.