New Year’s Resolutions You’ll Want to Keep

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As you usher in 2020, why not resolve to forgo the usual restrictive resolutions in exchange for something uplifting? Toss aside the promises to lose weight, get organized, and stick to a strict budget, and focus on what makes you feel your best. Chances are if you flip the script on your resolutions, you’ll begin the new decade with joy rather than guilt.

  1. Let things go So you bought cookies from the store instead of baking them, your child is standing at the bus stop with a snarled mess of hair, your husband didn’t empty the dishwasher, and you’ve been living out of a laundry basket for two weeks. (All hypothetical of course.) Let go of judgment and comparison and forge ahead. You’ll never meet the version of perfect you have in your head (and neither will your loved ones), so rather than torturing yourself by striving for it year after year, just let it go. Find freedom in releasing your expectations.
  2. Treat your body like you love it Your body is amazing, almost magical even. Somehow your heart beats steadily for decades and your lungs take breath after breath. Perhaps you’ve carried a child, run a marathon, knit a blanket, or prepared a feast. Each of us is a miraculous creature. Rather than focus on so-called flaws like ears that stick out or extra padding on your waistline, revel in your unique, exquisite beauty. You are truly one of a kind. Treasure your life and your body. Do the things you know are best for it, like mostly eating fresh, nutritious food, and moving your body in the way that works for you. Intuitively let your body guide you toward healthy activities.
  3. Talk to yourself like royalty Is there anyone we speak to the way we address ourselves through that small voice in our head? Is there anyone we berate and insult in the same manner? If we did, the other person wouldn’t hang around for long. But we are stuck with ourselves. And, we’ve already established we are beautiful, one-of-a-kind creatures. So it’s time you start to talk to yourself like you are a goddess. In the morning, breathe in deeply, look at yourself in the mirror, and say, “Good morning, Gorgeous! You’re going to have a great day!” It may feel silly at first, but start to deliberately replace the critical talk track in your head with positive, uplifting phrases. End the day with encouraging words and gratitude. Treat yourself gently and lovingly. It’s what you deserve, after all.
  4. Do things you enjoy unapologetically Some of us like rock-climbing. Others like laying on the couch and watching Real Housewives. We’re all wired differently. Some find joy and energy in rowdy social outings. Others recharge by curling up with a book. Rather than resolving to tackle goals you think you should achieve like learning a new language, or climbing a mountain, or writing in a journal every day, let the wise voice inside guide you. Replace your shoulds with choices. Maybe you choose to try skydiving. Maybe you choose to binge half of Netflix. Maybe you choose to do both on different days. You know deep inside what fortifies you. Choose to do that without apology.

Resolve to be gentle and accepting toward yourself and others in 2020. Release that steely grip on what you think you should be doing. Go easy into the new year.

Jennifer Seeker Conroy
Jennifer Seeker Conroy worked for ten years as a reporter, anchor, and producer at television stations in Missouri, Iowa, and Oregon. In 2009, she moved back to her home state of Wisconsin and went on to earn an MBA from UW-Madison. Jenny now works in product management at CUNA Mutual Group and lives in Madison with her husband Tim, three sons, a daughter, two cats, and a dog. She's an avid runner, reader, and writer, and is passionate about supporting causes that benefit women and girls.

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