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Toronto, Canada

312 Adelaide Street West, Suite 301
Toronto, Ontario - M5V 1R2
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New Year — Better You

Written by Robyn Eidinger

How are those resolutions going? If you’ve hit the late January slump and you’re struggling to maintain the “new you”, consider hitting the reset button and resolve to be a better you this year instead.

Each year is a fresh start, right? At least that is what most people think and I guess that’s why most people go into a new year with new goals and resolutions.

Typically, we try to achieve the same goals year after year. Is it just me or is it a vicious cycle? Whether it be to start something new like meditation, or a diet, or to change something about ourselves that we don’t like, or to save money and the list goes on and on. I’m not trying to be negative or dismiss the idea of new year resolutions, I just feel that maybe we are constantly setting ourselves up for disappointment by attempting to reach unrealistic goals.

Well with the start of 2019, I have decided that it’s time to stop hoping that this year will bring a “new me” because quite frankly, I like me and I don’t necessarily want to change who I am. So instead of a “new me”, I am going to focus on becoming a “better me”.

What do I mean by this? Well let’s take dieting as an example. Putting ourselves on a diet might seem like a good idea at first but if you are anything like me, staying on a diet is very unlikely. I like food, plain and simple. So why set out to achieve something that is most likely not going to stick? Instead, I hope to become a “better me” and to do so I plan on making a conscious effort to eat healthy and to limit my junk food intake. Doesn’t that sound much more attainable?

Or how about the common resolution to lose weight? I would say that this is probably one of the more popular resolutions and a great one but is it really feasible for most? I love seeing that people are so health conscious and eager to be as healthy as possible but if it was my goal, I would take baby steps. I like to think that a little progress goes a long way. so, instead of hoping to lose a specific amount of weight or to fit into a specific dress size, why not set the goal of simply adding some physical activity into our daily lives?

For me, the number on the scale doesn’t necessarily matter, it’s about how I feel. If I set a goal to lose 20 lbs and don’t succeed, I won’t feel very good about myself but if I set a goal to join an exercise class and attend regularly, well that would feel awesome!

The number one rule for me when it comes to goal setting is to be as realistic as possible, don’t set yourself up for failure.

Most people will choose physical goals like the ones I have mentioned and will forget to focus on ways to improve their mental well-being. We as humans are not perfect and there are often aspects that we don’t necessarily love, that we wish we could change. Take this year to try to better yourself; to improve your character or overall self.

Take a good look at the past year an all the things you could have done differently. For example, if you’ve had issues with friends, you can try to be more forgiving. If you feel like you want to start doing more for others, then you can be more giving by donating more to local charities.

One thing about myself that I consciously make an effort to better is my way of parenting. As a mom, I know I am not perfect and I know it is impossible to be perfect. I want to be the type of parent that my children can turn to for whatever they need. I am planning on trying to improve my patience and spending more quality time with each of my children. I want them to be able to trust me and certainly don’t want them to feel like I’m a ticking time bomb.

Another mental goal that I have set for myself is to build my confidence and to stop caring so much about what other people think. I plan to do this by acknowledging three positive things about myself each day when I wake up. I want to start each day on the right foot and learn to love myself just the way I am.

We’ve covered physical and mental goals, but you can also set out to better yourself by working on spiritual goals as well. Life has a way of passing us by and too often we forget to be grateful and thankful for what has been given to us.

With that being said, to grow spiritually you can choose to intentionally identify any good that comes your way. You can work on building the habit of finding any good in a seemingly bad situation. You can also make it a point to try and bring happiness to others on a daily basis. This can be done by simply holding the door for someone or offering someone in need a helping hand or shoulder to cry on.

Personally, I’m more of an introvert and this year I’ve decided to focus more on me. To do so I’ve started looking into the practice of meditation. I feel like last year, I was far too invested in others and this year I would like to try a different approach in the hopes that I can become a “better me” in all aspects of life, including my spirituality.

No matter your goals, whether physical, mental or even spiritual. Find a way to hold yourself accountable. I like to make lists and I like to journal. The lists give me something to look back on at the end of the year and by journaling, I am able to express myself and really reflect on a day to day basis. Whatever way you choose, holding yourself accountable will help you and make your goals more attainable. At the end of the year, I hope to look at my lists and journal entries to see just how far I have come and to see the growth I have made at becoming a “better me”.

Please don’t forget, like anything else, to better yourself is continuous and won’t happen overnight so be gentle with yourself, you are trying to be the best possible version of yourself and growth takes time and effort. Everyday is a new day so don’t give up and take one day at a time.

*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Parent Life Network or their partners.