This week’s podcast episode coming up centres around expectations. The expectations of a modern-day resilient woman who at times feels bound by her experience with the limits of cultural, generational, or societal pressures. These expectations can be exacerbated even further when also living through trauma and suffering from declining mental health. But, in this post, we are looking at another layer of expectations, the ones that come with a new year. Yes, a new month and even a new week are opportunities for us to have a ‘fresh start’ and this strategy of chunking can be so helpful for many in feeling gains with their mental health but also not feeling like that can’t recover if it’s been an awful week. When it comes to a new year, that ‘fresh start’ feeling can also apply and be really beneficial for some but there needs to be a boundary we set that separates us from the pressure from feeling like we NEED to set goals in order to start the year off right. Think about how much we’ve had to adjust to on a month-to-month basis in 2021!
Over the last 2 years of being in a pandemic the tone for a new year approaching has had a major shift. We aren’t seeing as many gym commercials urging us to lose weight or forceful advertising encouraging us that we need to set goals regardless of where we’re at in our journey. We’ve all grown in ways we didn’t expect and have survived through frequent crisis requiring us to be flexible in our work, relationships, and the ways we socialize. I’d like to think this shift is going in the direction of us appreciating the need for attention to wellness and focusing less on big resolutions and more on the progress. Or maybe it’s redefining what a typical ‘resolution’ should be… like finding what your passions are through placing ourselves in spaces we can tap into some self-discovery, practicing being more in tune with our body so that we are able to pause and take care of our basic needs when stressed or burning out or maybe it’s working through deep rooted issues with new methods of support so that we can become a more present parent, partner, and friend.
I’d like to a view a new year ahead as an opportunity to continue the journey I’m on, using the tools, strategies and leaning on the support system I have while also being open minded to new opportunities. If I feel a little lost or unsure, creating vision boards by hand or through Pinterest has helped me in getting inspired again while reassessing my needs at any point in the year. This practice along with a growth mindset aims at following through with an intention and way of life rather than set goals which we are more inclined to feel discouraged by if they do fail or we get sidetracked by life. If you are setting goals or resolutions for the year ahead, allow yourself to revisit them on a monthly basis and make adjustments as needed (priorities change!) to combat this all or nothing thinking that might be associated with new year goals. Feel free to hit that reset button at ANY point in the year not just in January.
Wherever you are at in your healing journey, I hope that this year ahead allows you the space to continue growing, finding peace and flourishing.