The Gift of Being Kind

The Gift of Being Kind

by Dr. Lori Runge LMFT-Associate
Hopemead Counseling and Trauma Center

January begins for most of us with the promise to follow through with our New Year’s resolutions. We start this endeavor with enthusiasm and hope – this is the year we will finally follow through, and it will culminate with our dreams coming true and our life changing for the better forever. Oh, and there will be world peace! My point is that each year we set goals with unrealistic expectations, which tends to lead us to give up on them shortly after we make them. I want to propose that perhaps the best way to follow through with your New Year’s resolution might be to give yourself the grace of knowing that eventually, you will get there and that each step towards your goal will look a little different on any given day or any given moment.

Goals are excellent guides to get us to move towards the change we are trying to make and that we need to give ourselves the space to falter, as well as give ourselves the grace and understanding that we would give our best friends. You would never berate a friend for being unable to perfectly execute their plan to attain their goal; instead, you would encourage and help them get back on track with empathy and support. Give yourself the gift of becoming your own cheerleader, and be as kind to yourself as you would be to your best friend. Next time you find yourself berating yourself for having a misstep on the way to your goal, what would be the harm in talking to yourself kindly? Try instead to remind yourself that each moment is another opportunity to shift, reboot, and get back on track! Being kind and giving ourselves grace is not something we are often told as children or adults, so I understand it may be a bit foreign and uncomfortable.

Society gives us a lot of external information on what and how we “should be.” 

Let 2019 be the year you practice giving yourself grace and treating yourself kindly on the pathway to attaining your New Year’s resolutions! I am certain that if you practice grace and kindness towards yourself, you will feel more peace and joy while moving towards attaining your goals.

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