The New Year has begun, and all around me I am hearing of goals and resolutions. At church on Sunday, one of the lessons was about goal setting. (Please – kick me when I’m down. That’s precisely why I went to church: hadn’t been told I was a failure quite enough yet that day.) Everywhere I turn, people are talking about their goals for this year, and what they have resolved to do.
I simply can’t make myself do this.
It’s not that I don’t have goals for myself – I do. It’s not that I think goal setting is worthless – it’s not. It is just that I feel adding more to my never-ending checklist is simply not in my best interest.
As I expressed before, I am feeling like a failure in so many areas of my life already. Making a list of goals, as I have traditionally done, will this year serve only to drive me deeper into the depression I’m struggling with and further cement the unpleasant feeling I have of being less than adequate in basically every aspect of my life. And so, despite the societal pressure to set goals to complete this year, I have decided to take a different approach (thanks, in part, to the lesson on Sunday – I did get something positive out of it).
I have intentions of setting one goal, with no completion date, that I will work on this year and likely through my entire life. Something that will benefit me now most especially when life has handed me more than I can bear, but also in the future when things may look brighter (that has to come at some point, right?). Something that will make me feel better about myself and worry less about what I am “supposed” to be doing. Something that will help me be ok with doing all I can, even though it is nowhere near all I “should” be doing.
So starting now, and going until forever, I am resolving to be more kind to myself. To be more understanding and patient with myself when I have days where I feel the only thing that I can do is cry about everything. To be more loving to myself when I get to the end of the day and realize not a single thing managed to get accomplished on my checklist for the day. To be more patient with myself when I see how I’ve failed in one way or another, and to be willing to let myself try again. To tell myself I matter and that I am not a terrible mom, wife, or woman, when all I’ve heard all day is the exact opposite.
Kind is something I’m not accustomed to being when it comes to the way I treat myself. I have high expectations for myself and I am very driven. I push myself until I have done what I believe has to be done, usually without regard for my feelings or health. No one is harder on me than the little voice in my head.
From this day forward, I will strive to be more loving and understanding – to treat myself the way I would treat someone going through what I am dealing with.
This goal has no completion date. There really is no way to measure my level of accomplishment; I can’t say I’ve completed 67% of being kind to myself. This will be a challenge. I measure myself in everything, against any standard I can manage to find (credible or not) that is higher than where I already stand. Never do I measure up. Never am I doing enough. And to that, I am saying “No more.” From here on out, I am giving myself permission to be less than perfect. Requiring myself to rely more on the Savior and the Atonement, and less on the limited ability I have to do and fix and be. Recognizing that God loves me, imperfections and all. That I am doing enough, trying enough, and that I am enough.
Resolved: This year, it’s ok to be me.