Every year I look forward to January 1st. Well, the second day of January, to be honest, as the first day of the year is often spend recuperating from New Year’s Eve.

There’s something magical about this chance to reset all your habits, eliminate your vices, to start all over again like an entirely new me. I plan ahead for months. “Next year I’m going to meditate every day. I’m going to exercise every other day. I’m going to give at least $1 to every beggar I meet. I’m not going to dig into any of the piles of pastries at work.

Grand plans. Doable plans, even. I don’t go too crazy, because I’m already keeping rather healthy habits.

But then the third week comes along, and I’m already bust. 

Oh well, there’s always next year.

But it doesn’t have to be like this. And 2019, thus far, has been different. My new idea started with something I’ve written about before, that someone I love broke my heart by not attending a milestone event in my life. I pondered and pondered over this issue, trying to figure out why it hurt so much. Why it was so difficult to forgive. And then it hit me: she was just mirroring myself.  She didn’t feel the need to go out of her way to show me she loves me, because I don’t show myself love.

Self-care’s the word!

In between trying to be the perfect employee, the loving wife, the successful author, I had completely forgotten to tend to my own needs. I was always busy. If I had two days off during the weekend, I would write from morning to night on Saturday AND Sunday, then go right into the next workweek of 10-12 hour days. Never taking a break. Always doing more and more and more.

Now wonder I was exhausted. 

So at the end of last year, I decided that in 2019 I would listened to my body, take time to relax, nurture myself. I would write only one day a week. Spend time doing fun things with my husband. Walk in nature. Meditate. Eat healthy. Watch less TV. Move more. Rest more. And always ask myself: 

Will this action nurture me?

By choosing a theme instead of adhering to rules, I’ve had no difficulty keeping my resolution. There’s no set amount of times I need to go running. I don’t have to meditate every day, but I’m already meditating a lot more than last year. One day I just spent a whole day on the couch reading. When I get home from work, I read, chat with my husband, or go for a walk (although now in winter it’s cooooold.)

Perhaps my next book won’t edit itself, but I’m not going to stress about getting it out in the world. It will be finished when the time is right.

By allowing myself to breathe, I’m already getting a lot more guidance from spirit. In the end, it will be a much better book than it would have been if I didn’t take the time to listen to myself, to what the book wants to be. And what’s the message it wants to convey?

So how do you keep a resolution?

Choose a theme, an idea, rather than set yourself up for failure with strict rules. Want to lose weight? Decide to honor your body with fresh foods and movement. Want to write a book? Decide to have fun with words and see where it goes. Want to be more spiritual? Decide to focus on gratitude in every aspect of your life. With themes, you can reset and restart every day and you just cannot fail.

Happy 2019!

Allow it to be your best year ever.

Photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash

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