Setting Resolutions or Living Values?

Happy 2021! If you are like most in this pandemic-stricken world, you woke up today feeling a little hopeful for what may come this year. And because it was 2020 and we are still in a pandemic, you celebrated last night at home. In your living room. With immediate family only. For some, 2020 was a year that is gladly behind them with all it’s curveballs and loop-de-loops. For others, like me, it was a year of new growth in areas not anticipated going into the year of 2020. Will this year be the same as last year for you? Or will you go about and do something a little differently this year?

As I was in my early days of my recovery journey at the end of 2017, our group did a values exercise that I still rely on today. Before that day, I had not considered what my most important values were at the time. Each year since then, they tweak a little depending on what feels most important to live out that upcoming year. In 2018, the five most important values for me were:

  • Inner Peace: to experience personal peace
  • Romance: to have intense, exciting love in my life
  • Self-Esteem: to feel good about myself
  • Simplicity: to love my life simply, with minimal needs
  • Genuineness: to act in a manner that is true to who I am

And now this year (2021) they are:

  • Leisure: to take time to relax and enjoy
  • Mindfulness: to live conscious and mindful of the present moment
  • Adventure: to have new and exciting experiences
  • Growth: to keep changing and growing
  • Contribution: to make a lasting contribution in the world

Before this exercise, I would make a few New Year’s resolutions, mostly centered on body size and confidence, and then become frustrated with myself at year’s end when nothing had changed. I had little to no empathy or compassion for myself. I was living my life on a hamster wheel – day in and day out expecting something to change when my body size changed. Each year as I cycled up and down in weight, my happiness remained low because it was centered on what I looked like and how I felt about myself. I was truly unhappy and thought that the answer lied in the next diet or weight-loss program which was being touted on the TV the week leading up to the New Year.

Through a lot of inner work and coaching on what I really wanted in life, I became further and further removed from wanting to change my body size with the next diet. Once I made that determination, it was easier to find the space to allow compassion to come in. Then came the empathy to see myself as worthy no matter my size.

It can be hard to find the values you want to truly live by when society is telling you that there is something wrong with your body the way it is, yet this is an important step on your road towards compassion and empathy towards yourself. Try this same values exercise found here and let me know what you think. And if you’d like to further your acceptance of your body as it is, let’s schedule some time to chat further. Will this year be all about resolutions to change your body or values to live your life?

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