Giving Yourself Grace in the New Year!

Here we are again at the beginning of another year. I am not sure about you, but I can confidently say for me that 2019 was tough and there was a lot of internal struggle and work I had to do.  I began last year with a lot of hopes, a lot of goals and a lot of dreams… did I attempt them? Yes, I did. Did I accomplish them? I guess that would depend on what your definition of accomplish is. Before I get into it, I want to talk about our mindset and our intentions at the beginning of every year. We are programmed to make these “New Year’s Resolutions” at the beginning of every single year and we do this blindly.

We do this with the hope that during the next 365 days, everything will go as planned. We make these intentions picturing ourselves at the end of the year as this transformed, brand new individual that has accomplished so much during this year and NOW can finally start living the life we have always dreamed of. This would be easy, if we could have a crystal ball and plan our goals and accomplishments based on what will happen the coming year. Let me put something into your mind, let’s say this year you want to write a book, or maybe this year you want to lose 100 pounds or get that promotion… whatever it may be, you begin to write out your intentions and goals for the new year. Now, let’s have some fun and say that some magical New Year’s Eve Genie presents itself to you and lets you know that you will experience five unexpected hurdles this year that may or may not throw you off course; the hurdles could be a loss of a job, a loved one, a health scare, etc. Would you still set such high goals and intentions? Would you berate yourself at the end of the year for not accomplishing all of these goals?

I know for me personally, I can be pretty hard on myself, especially when it comes to accomplishing my goals and at the end of a year… it is VERY easy for me to pop holes into the year and overanalyze why I didn’t accomplish ALL the goals that I had at the beginning of the year. Since I am my own worst enemy its almost always makes me end the year with depression and pushes that depression to the beginning of the new year with a brand-new list of goals and intentions sometimes even longer than its predecessor. It’s cyclical, and frankly unhealthy. In writing this, part of me wonders if the “holiday blues” isn’t just about being alone and not with loved ones, but also because of how hard we are on ourselves and how we do not give ourselves grace with our “year in review.”

At the beginning of this year, one of my goals was to lose all the pregnancy weight that I put on since, and after, having my Son. For the last 10 years, I have struggled with weight gain and weight loss as well as ups and downs of depression. It has been a very long journey for me; going in and out of doctor’s offices, not really getting any answers other than I am just not “trying hard enough to lose weight.” After many tears to many different Doctors, many tests and many…MANY different diets; I submitted to the idea that maybe it’s all in my head and that I am just “lazy.” Did I lose all the baby weight and accomplish my New Year’s goal? No, I came close, but on paper, I didn’t. I did however, halfway through the year in August, finally receive a diagnosis of Hashimoto’s Disease and after many books and hours of research I found myself in my car crying. I was not crying because I was overweight, depressed and believed to be lazy; I was crying from relief and happiness. Relief, in finally having the answer and realizing that it is NOT all in my head; and happiness, in knowing how I can change my life and move forward.

In August 2019, I began the Whole 30 program, gave up gluten and dairy forever and started on a new journey. Since that time, I lost 30 pounds and am finally starting to feel like myself again; which I am excited to share about in the coming weeks. The point of this story is not to talk about my diagnosis or weight loss, the point of this story is to show the bigger goal I accomplished in 2019 aside from losing weight. On paper, I did NOT accomplish my 2019 goal. Would I have rather be at goal weight, instead of going through this discovery journey? No, I wouldn’t – because at the end of the day that would have only been a short-term solve. I may not have accomplished my weight loss goal completely, but better than that I found out how to end the cycle, end the madness and to me, that is worth a hell of a lot more than me fitting back into my favorite jeans! The health hurdles that I experienced this year were BIG! I did NOT see them at the beginning of 2019, but I flung myself over those hurdles and with scares, bumps and bruises pulled myself over the finish line of 2019.

This year, you may have just “survived” it and in that journey you discovered how strong you actually are. This year, you may NOT have written that book, but read books that WILL and HAVE made you a better writer. This year, you might NOT have met the love of your life, but were able to spend the final days with a loved one you lost.  If I can give you any wish at the beginning of this new decade it is to give yourself some grace. Grace in the new year, grace during the hurdles and grace at the end of the year when you are doing this “year in review.” Yes, I can admit It would be nice to have a magical genie show up and help us map out this next coming decade…. But let’s think about that… knowing our future would actually be doing more damage than helping us…  it would take away all the magic. Wishing you all a new decade filled with strength and more importantly grace.

“The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials.” – Chinese Proverb

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