It’s hard to believe that 2018 is winding down as 2019 quickly approaches. Personally, this year feels like it flew by, and it was far from being uneventful. This year presented challenges and changes that pushed my boundaries and taught me great life lessons. I looked back on my 2018 New Year’s resolutions and realized that I had neglected to even attempt a couple of them. There were a few that I had proudly accomplished, but my brain kept going back to the list of ones that were left unfinished.
Life gets in the way for all of us from time to time, and when someone shares their stories of their speed bumps throughout life, I undoubtedly can understand how or why they were held back from achieving their goals. It makes sense that priorities shifted in the wake of crises. Why is it that we can offer such sympathy and empathy to others, but find it so difficult to extend the same courtesy to ourselves? When it comes down to it, I hear it time and time again from friends, family, and clients: I’m harder on myself than anyone else is on me.
As a new year begins (and also flies by), my main goal is to be kinder to myself and to help others be kinder to themselves. Being kinder means removing the harsh judgments of “should have done better” or “should have done more” and approaching issues with an open-minded curiosity about how I can improve the next time I have an opportunity. Being kinder does not mean enabling unhealthy behaviors or overlooking red flags. When you’re able to treat yourself kindly and do what’s best for yourself, you ultimately do a service to those around you. Healthier people have healthier relationships.
Slowing down and processing issues with a clear mind is the tricky part. Part of my goal is to be more mindful and present so that I have room to appreciate the growth that has already taken place and give space to future developments. I’m looking forward to 2019 with eyes and arms wide open, hopeful that it is a year of positive change and kindness to self when dealing with any issue life throws in the mix.
An Thai, MS, Resident in Marriage and Family Therapy, provides individual, couple, and family therapy in our Sterling, VA office. Call or email today to set up your first appointment or complimentary telephone consultation with An.