Tis’ the season to write down the changes you’d like to make in 2018: Quit smoking. Eat healthier. Spend less. Travel more. Get promoted. Learn something new. Start volunteering. Stop procrastinating. Sleep!
But, what if this year you tried something different? Instead of selecting what you wish to change about yourself, what if you made a list of what you plan to accept?
Wait, so I should continue to throw back margaritas all weekend while feasting on loaded nachos until 3am? Not exactly. I’m not advocating for skipping the self-improvement goals on your list. In fact, I’d be a hypocrite if I did as I’m the queen of trying to fix myself.
But that’s the problem. When we believe we need to be ‘fixed’, our flaws become an adversary to be conquered and slips-ups are viewed as defeat. It’s a form of perfectionism, which not only is unattainable, but makes life pretty miserable and adds to the stress that’s already everywhere. So, maybe this year you:
- Take time to embrace the gifts you have like your loved ones, the means to travel or the freedom to choose your career path.
- Spend a few minutes appreciating the things about yourself you can’t change, but which uniquely define you.
- Stop comparing yourself to others – you’ll always be able to find someone better (or worse) if you try.
- Stay in the present moment instead of repeatedly beating yourself up for losing the promotion or getting sucked into Facebook.
If you watch TV, surf the web or interact with humans, you know there are plenty of sources pointing out our flaws, judging our behaviors and making us feel guilty about our decisions. These can be great motivators at times, but they can also lead to self-torture, which isn’t helpful to anyone.
So make those resolutions and do your damndest to achieve them. But also accept yourself, embrace your unique gifts, stop comparing and practice being in the moment. While these goals may feel less tangible, they’re actually core to emotional intelligence, which research shows increases success in many parts of our lives. In fact, by just simply doing these things, you may soon start reaching for the carrots instead of the fries without even trying and job offers might make their way to you unsolicited.
Your career, relationships, health and everything else improve when the rest of you is at peace. Try it this year and watch the magic happen!
Happy hunting and happy 2018!