How to foster change starting with a pause
How to start the year? Where to begin?
It is in the human nature to be hopeful at the start of every year that a transformation will occur, that we will wake up being different, that we will aim to change one or many things within us… a new start, a beginning and why would this be?
This expectation of change is a new hope and the opportunity to reset, an opportunity to reflect on the past year and maybe our inner growth (and sometimes physical growth!) over the past 12 months. It is also the opportunity to be honest with ourselves on the changes that we would like to see happening for us, that should have happened in the past and needs to happen in the future.
It is the reason why it is important to be kind and consciously stay away from inner judgment and critic, to be our own best friend for once and as ask ourselves what he or she would say to us?
With that in mind, I have decided that my first resolution will be to develop that inner kindness, to foster self-love within, acceptance and to keep an ear out for my best thoughts out there and how to develop self-compassion for myself. I strongly encourage you to do the same.
This is what I would tell a close friend and what they would say as well:
- Put things in perspective: this pandemic is so long, unprecedented, unpredictable, we can forget that we are in the middle of a crisis. Allow yourself to pause for a minute, you have found our way this far over the last nearly two years through something we could have never envisioned before, you have moved forward and are making the most of this situation, you can be proud of your achievements so far.
- Expect to experience stress and anxiety in you and others, pressure from self, parents, school, teachers, exams, grades, performance. The world around us can be overwhelming at times, this is normal as a result to feel sad, frustrated, angry, empty, alone or whatever you may be experiencing, there is nothing wrong or unexpected about that, this is being human and your emotions make sense, they also serve a purpose.
- Have a plan, indulge in what you know is good for you, what is familiar, soothing and reassuring (self-care, meeting your targets and aims, reaching out to others…) and avoid what you know doesn’t suit you (avoid doing things to please others, setting unattainable goals… ).
- Accept to be kind to yourself and others, be generous and giving, forgiving of self and others. Accept being human and making mistakes, these are part of life.
- As always, don’t forget to breathe, and last but not least, make an effort to laugh when you can and reach out to others.