Embrace Your 2024 Journey

Coral Gables Counseling Center - Wednesday, January 10, 2024
By coralgables_admin

By Jean Crawford, Certified Life Coach

Ah, the new year – sparkly confetti, a time for fresh beginnings, a fresh canvas, and the undeniable pressure to set resolutions that scream “new year, new me.”  Facebook posts, IG reels, TikTok stories – all telling us what we SHOULD be doing, what we NEED to do for this year to be different – for us to be different.

As the clock strikes midnight, resolutions march in like a parade of well-intentioned soldiers. Lose weight, get fit, save money, get your house organized, learn a new language—the list goes on. It’s as if every area of our lives needs a makeover, and we’re the overwhelmed DIY enthusiasts tasked with the impossible. The stress is real, and it’s time we address it head-on.

This has always been one of my favorite times of the year. However, upon reflection, I have certainly expected an awful lot of myself just because the calendar turned to a new year. This year, I want to approach the new year differently, recognizing that I can work toward my personal goals and be gentle and kind to myself.

footprint in sand
Resolutions often come with a side of perfectionism. We set the bar high, fueled by the idea that anything less than perfection is a failure. Resolutions and perfectionism often go hand in hand. We set the bar impossibly high, forgetting that we are beautifully imperfect beings. Perhaps the most stress-inducing aspect of resolutions is the infamous all-or-nothing mentality. One slip-up, and suddenly the entire resolution is on life support. It’s a recipe for stress and self-criticism.

But what if we embraced the idea that progress is a series of small victories and setbacks? This year, let’s toss the idea of flawlessness out the window and invite in the concept of progress over perfection. Celebrate the small wins. And when setbacks occur, greet them with a kind understanding that they’re just part of the journey.

What if, this year, we approached this year with mindfulness? Instead of setting resolutions fueled by external pressures, let’s pause and listen to our inner selves. Instead of setting lofty goals that may be hard to sustain, let’s focus on the small, intentional steps that lead to meaningful progress.  What brings us joy? What feels sustainable? What has already been working for us? Mindful goal setting is about aligning our aspirations with our authentic selves, allowing us to pursue goals that resonate with our deepest desires.

Resolutions often focus on the destination. But what if the real magic lies in the journey itself? Self-compassion invites us to savor each step, acknowledging that growth is a process, not a race. Embrace the detours, relish the unexpected lessons, and find joy in the pursuit of becoming a better version of yourself.

The clean slate before us is not just an invitation to transform but an opportunity to do so with compassion, patience, and intention. This year, embrace the journey, imperfections and all.  Here’s to a year of unfolding, blooming, and embracing the gentle growth that makes each step a beautiful part of our journey.

Remember where you have been and now where you are going. Life is not a race but a journey to be savored each step of the way. -– Nikita Koloff