Year-in-review social media posts, ads for coaching programs, webinars and seminars to help you “get your life together” for the new year, and more. ‘Tis the season for self improvement and new year's resolutions. While these things are good, consumed in surplus (like scrolling lends itself to), it can just feel like pressure. Pressure to perform, pressure to highlight our performance, and even exist in a way that isn’t authentic to who we really are.
While I believe in self-improvement, I want to caution you against the one thing too many of us do annually. Read this slowly:
Do NOT make your resolutions an idol that measures your self worth.
At the end of the day, that’s truly what the temptation is, isn’t it? We create resolutions and then beat ourselves up or desire a do-over by mid February. How many of us celebrate the wins (specifically the small ones)? When was the last time you gave yourself permission to revel in your successes, your charm, wit, or even the ability to execute the perfectly winged eyeliner (lol)?
But, I do want to share with you an age old secret to progressing, even during turbulent times. In fact, I want to challenge you to not make any resolutions at all as the new year approaches. Set actionable goals? Create systems to measure success, and help you reach your goals step by step? Absolutely! But, don’t let this be how you quantify your success.
So what’s the secret?
Gratitude. (Yes it’s both that simple and powerful!)
I want to invite you to join me on an intentional journey of gratitude for the new year. Instead of amplifying the things we want to fix in our lives, I encourage you to take a posture of gratitude for the new year. When we choose a lifestyle of gratitude, we position ourselves for abundance. Jesus exemplifies this in the miracle of the two fish and five loaves feeding five thousand. While others around him highlighted the lack of supplies needed to provide for such a great need, Jesus took what was available and gave thanks for it. As he gave thanks, what was too little miraculously became more than enough!
Gratitude magnifies goodness and begets more of the same. Nitpicking, overanalyzing, and highlighting what’s wrong, magnifies lack and begets anxiety, depression, and complaining.
Have you ever been inspired when all your flaws have been highlighted and critiqued? There’s a reason why the best leaders highlight the wins in team meetings. It inspires more goodness.
Some of us will never achieve the things we’re aspiring to until we pause to be grateful for the goodness that currently surrounds us.
Pause. Take a deep breath. Truly evaluate all you have to be grateful for in this moment. It could be as simple as sight, and intellect (two things we should never take for granted).
Give yourself grace. Honor the journey, and choose gratitude over the grind.
Gratitude turns what we have into enough.
“In ordinary life, we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich.”
– Dietrich Bonhoeffer
I love you & I’m rooting for you,