January 6, 2010

January's Here!

It's official! January is here! Right now! On this very blog!

Ok, maybe it's not Mad Men's January Jones. Not a television star. Not as good as that.

It's the month of January. The month of resolutions.

Here we go again, right? How am I gonna change this year?

You know the drill. Take inventory. Have my my ready made list of personal disappointments. Doesn't take long, does it? We know each and every one of those suckers by heart, don't we? Every failure? Every mistake?

Now whip it into a to-do-list:

Lose weight.
Drink less.
Exercise more.
Yell less.
Work more.
Spend less.

But enough of that noise. How about something completely different this year?

Maybe resolutions where we take stock in our strengths. Our good points.

What do I like about myself?

That's right. A List of Likeables. What I accomplished this year. What I'm proud of. What brought me joy. Pleasure. Happiness. What I wouldn't change about myself.

Here are some examples of what might apply:

I experimented with a few new recipes. Even liked one of them.

I made my friends laugh.

I finally cleaned out the garage back in June. The fact that it's chaos again? No matter.

Went two months without arguing with my co-worker.

Made a new friend. Or two.

Took a risk.

Volunteered my time.

Showed compassion.

Passed my annual performance eval. Everybody else did, too? So what. I showed up and didn't get fired.

Passed on second helpings. Most Some of the time.

Helped my sour puss neighbor.

Held my tongue.

Paid my bills on time.

Paid down my credit card debt.

Listened to someone who needed to talk.

So, that's the gist of it. An agreement to recall what I like about myself. What I'm happy about.

Therapy couches are full of people who focus exclusively on their faults.

Yes, especially Super Man.

One part of my job is to help people reframe in a more healthy direction. To help clients take credit for the things they have done right instead of continually echoing things they feel shame about. Giving permission to make mistakes. Understanding that inconsistency is the human condition.

So maybe this year we can vow to take it easy on ourselves. Make this a year of uplifting changes. Appreciate my strong points. Cut down on the self-criticism. Try out a kinder, gentler me. Feel good for a change.

And now it's your turn, reader. What is something you will put on your list? What is something you did in the past year that you feel good about? Proud of? Happy about, even? What are your positive traits? What do others like about you? What do you like about you?

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