One Resolution is Enough

Of all the possible New Year’s resolutions, I am making only one. That I will slow down and pay more attention to what I need, want or desire so that I can take better care of myself.

Like me, many women are first-rate caretakers when it comes to looking after other people. And side by side with that wonderful nurturing ability, many women I know complain that they are exhausted, frustrated, overwhelmed, hungry and stressed out and that no one takes care of them. If you are one of the women who execeeds her limits in this way, there is only one answer: start taking better care of yourself.

Even though I no longer question whether I deserve to be happy (I do) or whether I am breaking rules when I ask for what I want (I no longer care about rules), taking care of myself is still a little tricky because I don’t always know what I want or need.

My Personal GPS is Broken

In some ways, my personal needs GPS tracker is broken. Since vital information about what I need, want and will make me happy is not always directly accessible to me, I have to retrieve it sideways. That means slowing down. Getting quiet. Taking more time to make decisions. When you’re just learning to recognize what you need, what makes you happy, how to honor your deepest self, that’s when you need to take more time to know what’s right for you.

It’s OK to Start Small

When you are unfamiliar with your own needs and desires, you can’t even start to pay attention to them. Your default position is to keep taking care of others and saying yes when you really want to say no. When you slow down, get quiet and let yourself feel what you need and want, you’ll find it a lot easier to say yes to yourself and consequently take better care of yourself in this coming year.

One of my guiding principles is to start with just one action and start small. One personal example – I totally love my dog but I love my morning writing time more, so someone else must take the dog for his morning walk. If you think this example sounds trivial and not important enough to discuss with my family, you’re wrong. Even small decisions to take better care of yourself count big time. New ways of being reshape your neural pathways, create a new memory of doing things differently and make a new habit possible.

Of all the possible New Year’s resolutions, I only have one. I’m making an agreement with myself to slow down and pay attention to what I’m feeling about the choices I have. Jump in! Every small moment of honoring your own needs and wants creates room for the next time and the next time and pretty soon something big is right there and you know how to say yes to yourself without self-doubt or self-recrimination.

Happy New Year!

To your success!


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