New Year’s Resolution Idea: Be Gentle

Times are tough. Make sure your New Year’s promises blanket you with support and love.

Posted in , Dec 23, 2021


I have mixed emotions about New Year’s resolutions. On the one hand, they are opportunities to ask with open curiosity, How can I grow and evolve this year? On the other hand, the promises we tend to make to ourselves can be tough to keep, leaving us feeling frustrated and in need of a re-set before the new calendar has even turned its first page. 

This year, the surge of COVID cases due to the Omicron variant has set many of us back on our heels, renewing old worries and exhausting our flexible-thinking, plan-changing skills. So as we think about stepping into the new year, it only feels appropriate to make one promise to ourselves: Resolve to be gentle.

Be Gentle with Yourself
First and most importantly, the present moment calls us to dial up the self-compassion and prioritize kindness when we look in the mirror. If you are hoping to launch a healthy habit in the new year—from better food choices to more exercise to improved sleep to less time spent looking at your phone—be intentional about why you’re hoping to make these changes. Make sure “because I love and value myself” is high on the list of reasons—and set goals that allow you to move at a reasonable yet satisfying pace.

Be Gentle with Others
If you are feeling slower or heavier than normal, know this—you are not even close to being alone. Everyone’s riding the roller coaster of these stressful days in their own way, and if a friend or loved one takes longer to respond to messages, seems distracted or emotionally unavailable, or spends more time than usual complaining about how hard things are, hold space for them. Know that they might be struggling to move gently through their days—and offer them the gift of your presence and patience as they work through the tough stuff. 

Be Gentle with the World
Many of us incorporate volunteer work, charitable giving or simple practices like a kind word to the postal worker or grocery bagger into our New Year’s resolution thinking. Between blaring headlines and stressors from supply chain challenges to an overwhelmed health care system, we might feel bottled up with frustration and worry. Turn your gentle attitude outward to the wider world and ask yourself, how can I make a difference in the world today? Don’t be surprised if ideas come to you that feel small—but spoiler alert, they’re not small at all.

What’s on your mind as you step into the new year?

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