Young happy woman with backpack standing on a rock with raised hands and looking to a valley below

As the new year begins with lightening speed my mind fills with goals, aspirations, and plans  — all designed to spur change and improve upon the person I was in the previous year.

But a lesson I have learned over time is to make sure you do all the above in a way that really honours you. So here are the things I promise to make sure NOT to do this year.

Life is a journey, not a destination.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

1. I will NOT put unrealistic demands on myself.

This includes any type of rigid schedule, goals set for the purpose of pleasing anyone other than myself or harsh lifestyle or character modifications of any type. Remembering that we thrive in a flexible, creative environment and even if someone else succeeds in other ways, those are not my ways. We will instead strive for attainable and healthy changes that are manageable and designed to truly improve my life in my own unique way.

 

2. I will NOT be my own worst critic.

This year, ease up on your own opinion of yourself. Give myself a break. Do not beat yourself up for past mistakes or perceived current shortcomings. Do not compare myself to anyone else because you are uniquely you.

 

3. I will NOT treat myself with any less love and kindness than I would show to anyone else.

We can be very quick to forgive and typically strive to see the best in others. However, that generosity of spirit is often lost when we review our own life and actions. With the “You can do better” mantra. This year, work towards recognizing the wonderful things you bring to the table. Celebrate your contributions to the world and speak to myself with kindness when you fall short of my self-imposed expectations — just as you would do for my friends and family members.

 

4. I will NOT focus on negative thoughts.

Every day we are bombarded with news stories that could make the most steadfast optimist cringe. It’s easy to get caught up in a cycle of fear and negativity. But we can be a positive influence in the lives of others. We can radiate love and kindness and positivity designed to touch the hearts of those we encounter. By doing so, we just might make the world a slightly better place — and that’s enough.

 

5. I will NOT forget to have fun.

In a society where terms like success and accomplishment are used to identify someone’s worth, it’s easy to get caught up in a dust storm of busy-ness. It’s as if society has grown to believe that only by being constantly busy can we prove ourselves to be worthy, accomplished, successful.

Well, I’m going to discard that belief this year and work toward making space for the things I love. Striving to approach the day with a light heart and a good humour. Sure, you still have to work and earn money, but work should not define or control you.

This may be a hefty list to tackle all at once. I’ll add that do NOT expect miracles, but allow time and practice to guide you to these goals. View it as a road map for a gentle, growth-centered journey to a happier you.

So have an amazing year!