Making Changes That Will Stick

(You will find my English usage tips at www.Grammarbook.com)
Since it’s the new year, I thought I’d address the desire most of us share to get a fresh start. This year in particular, with a new administration that has promised change, I think we’re all looking forward to letting go and moving on. Sometimes, however, we try to move on before we’ve actually let go. The result is that we often trade our “old baggage” for “new baggage.” For example, if you’ve made a resolution to lose weight and you’re eating less but you’re doing it by starving yourself, then you have simply traded shame for deprivation. If you’ve vowed to get out of debt but you’re angry with yourself for getting in too deep financially, then you’re simply trading the old baggage of anxiety for the new baggage of beating yourself up.
Real, lasting change comes from loving ourselves more. So whatever resolutions you make, make them lovingly by exploring the most compassionate ways to make the changes you so strongly desire. If you wish to lose weight, ask yourself what will work best for you. Is it joining a gym or do you prefer walking outdoors? Will diet frozen meals feel self-loving or do you enjoy working in the kitchen? Are you the type of person who thrives with group support or does listening to others irritate you? Focus on self-compassion and success will become less about struggle and endurance and more about perseverance and happiness.
If you’ve vowed to lower your debt, then recognize that “I deserve” doesn’t mean “I deserve stuff.” Your worthiness has nothing to do with what you have; it has everything to do with how you cultivate and share your tender heart and unique spirit. If you really want to get that you are deserving, then remember that you deserve less anxiety. So pay down your debt, not because you resent yourself for “failing,” but because you deserve to thrive.

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