With the new year comes New Year’s resolutions.

In past years, I’ve made goals I haven’t been able to keep. It’s disappointing, but it’s common.

When I used to practice at a YMCA, after our winter break, we began practicing again on January 2nd. Those first few weeks of January, the YMCA would fill up. There were discounts and heavy advertising, and more and more people bought memberships. The lobby was so crowded that there were lines for the check in desk. After a few weeks, the craziness died down and things were back to normal.

You have probably seen it, too, or even experienced it yourself. I think the reason for this is making very firm resolutions. Resolutions that have no flexibility. Like some of mine – completely cutting out unhealthy foods, working out every single day, meditating every single day, achieving all personal bests, and getting all perfect grades.

The problem is that these resolutions left no room for error. Realistically, there was no chance I was going to do any of those things in the strict way that I had hoped for. The pressure to do perfectly can ruin your chances of actually achieving what you want.

It’s easy to get frustrated if you can’t accomplish what you want to, and it may just lead to feeling bad about yourself, which in some cases, can lead us to completely give up. That’s what happened to me.

In cases like this, balance is key. We can’t expect ourselves to be perfect, especially on a particular date. Sometimes we think that we can go from faulted to perfect in a matter of hours- between December 31st and then January 1st.

This year, I’ve decided to change it up. Yesterday, when I was thinking about the things I want to change, I realized that I need to think about things in a positive light.

So, I decided that I needed to stop complaining so much. Some situations can be difficult or annoying. This is the way I see it: if you can fix it, then fix it. If you can’t, then deal with it.

The way to do that is to lower the stakes a little bit. Instead of telling myself I would completely stop complaining, I would just complain less. I caught myself this afternoon ready to text a friend about a situation that I was frustrated with, but also one that can’t be changed. I stopped feeling bad for myself immediately, and instead thought of ways I could deal with the problem.

This year, I am going to be complain less. Eat less junk food. Be less lazy. Stress out less. But most of all, be MORE balanced.

There is no extreme pressure for me to do all of those things the exact way that I want to do them. Taking it day by day can be much more productive than you realize.

This new year, don’t hold yourself to extreme standards. Practice self care. Practice flexibility. You owe it to yourself.

Bring it on, 2019.

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