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Why I Made More Lenient 2019 Resolutions

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I have always been one to write New Year’s resolutions. I believe in living with intentionality. I think if you visualize what you want your life to look like and write down steps you can take of how to get there, you at least have some general direction and sense of purpose at the start of each New Year.

Last year was like any other. I went out for coffee and sat alone as I reflected on my life. I thought of where I was and where I wanted to be. I pondered what kind of example I was showing my children and if I was really living up to my fullest potential. Then I wrote my list accordingly. Just after Christmas and then right before New Year’s, I had a family situation knock all the wind out of me. I went into January just trying to keep my head above water, and that pattern seemed to continue for a good part of 2018.

Fast-forward to mid-December when again I did the thing I always do; reevaluate my resolutions. I must be a glutton for punishment! I reviewed what I accomplished and where I “fell short.” I sat there reading and sighing and as I scanned over each unmet resolution I came to a really life altering revelation for me. By all outward appearances, I actually totally bombed on a lot of what I thought I had wanted to accomplish last year. Somehow, though, I came out a stronger person than I’ve ever been and an emotionally-freed version of myself that I haven’t met up until now.

I started a very hard process of letting go of toxic people. I can finally see just the slightest bit of my worth, that no one can take away from me again. I dug to the depths of my soul and my memories to lay to rest so many old demons and heartaches. I found the power that I have to change the voice in my head. It can be anything I want it to be. I can replace the message of self-doubt, with self-confidence. I can stop hearing that I’ll never amount to anything and start telling myself that I am good enough and I turned into a great mother. I can learn this incredibly illusive self-love thing!

I worked so hard on my emotional health and well-being. While maybe nothing changed that you can see on the outside, I can feel it and that feels amazing. I can cope with stress a bit better. I can breathe a little easier. I can face the hard things and the difficult people I avoided.

So here I sit thinking about what I want 2019 to look like. . . what goal should I crush? What dream should I chase after? Should I even make resolutions?

Here’s what I decided to do, maybe you’d like to join me. I am going to resolve to give myself more grace in the coming year.

I’m going to make more “lenient” resolutions.

I am going to make allowances for my shortcomings, because I’m human and it’s OK.

I am not going to look at a misstep as a failure.

If I am tired, I am going to rest.

If I feel like I can take on the world, I will.

I am going to be a loving mom, not a perfect mom.

I am going to make memories for my kids. I will remind myself that what they will remember most is if I was a joyful person on a regular basis — not if I did grand things I can’t afford.

I am going to stop comparing my behind the scenes to another person’s highlight reels.

I am going to find things to be thankful for in every day.

If I make mistakes, I am going to show my kids the power of forgiving yourself.

If I make my list, check it twice, and at some point in 2019 decide to throw it away and start all over, I will because I continue to change and evolve. What really matters to me, and what’s really best for my family, cannot always be checked off a list.

Happy New Year, friends. I wish you a beautiful, fresh start filled with grace. I hope you will live your best life, whatever that looks like for you. I hope you can let go of the things that weigh you down and hold you back. I hope you find joy, freedom and make it the best year yet!

Photo credit: marekuliasz/Getty Images

Originally published: January 8, 2019
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