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Are You Punishing Yourself?

Are You Punishing Yourself?

We like this refreshing take on New Year’s resolutions with its focus on loving ourselves.  The last line sums it up nicely and also could serve as our mantra for the new year – “Focus on what your heart and soul and spirit need. And let that lead you into 2019.” 


Taking a Different Approach to Resolutions

By Margarita Tartakovsky, MS 
Last updated: 

The way we usually set resolutions is rigid, punitive, militant and even callous.

Stop doing this. Stop eating that. Lose the weight (because you’re disgusting)! Tone your body! Exercise five days a week! Become a totally new you (because you’re horribly flawed as is)! 

It often comes from a critical, I’m-not-good-enough place. And we hope that by accomplishing these punishing resolutions, we’ll finally earn our worth. We’ll finally be deserving.

But what if this year was different?

What if in 2019 you focus on exploring and nourishing the relationship you have with yourself? What if you focus on what you need to build a stronger, more forgiving, more compassionate bond with yourself?

What if you focus on getting to know yourself better, on gaining a deeper understanding into why you do the things you do, into what triggers you (and also why)? What if you focus less on criticism and more on curiosity? What if you listen intently to your needs, desires and dreams?

What if your resolutions revolve around your relationship with the one person who’s always with you?

For instance, maybe in 2019 you decide to carve out more alone time. Maybe you decide to shift your perspective, and see your inner beauty and power.

Maybe you start being gentle with yourself. Maybe you start setting specific boundaries and saying no to unfulfilling tasks, invitations, commitments, beliefs, so you don’t feel harried and overwhelmed.

Maybe you focus on embracing your body and appreciating your various traits.

Maybe you even jot these down a few times a week in a special notebook.

Maybe you simply start asking yourself: How are you today? 

Maybe you start scheduling regular solo outings. Maybe you start journaling about your thoughts and feelings, and sitting with them, instead of criticizing yourself for feeling a certain way. Maybe you start re-evaluating your relationships, and spending less time with people who don’t support you.

Maybe you start being more honest with yourself about what you enjoy and don’t enjoy, about what you need and don’t need. Maybe you start waking up 20 minutes before everyone else, so you can get centered and reconnect to yourself at your core.

Maybe you start taking a journaling or memoir writing class. Maybe you start seeing a therapist or coach.

Check in with yourself to see what you genuinely need to have a kinder relationship with yourself. Check in to see what you need to truly nourish, support, inspire, uplift and serve yourself in the new year.
In short, instead of focusing on outward shoulds, go within. Focus on what your heart and soul and spirit need. And let that lead you into 2019.


Tartakovsky, M. (2018). Taking a Different Approach to Resolutions for 2019. Psych Central

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