Yesterday was the day.

The day for introspection.

On January 1st, we take a critical look at our experiences spanning the preceding 12 months. Judge and jury, we weigh the good along with the bad and all too often our focus falls on the bad…

We gained weight. We didn’t exercise like we should have. We were stuck in jobs, relationships, or circumstances that were unhealthy. We said or did something hurtful. We spent too much money…

Then come the promises.

Some write them down. Some post them on social media. Some recite them as a mantra. But they all sound similar.

For 2020, I will (or will not) … make a herculean attempt (for at least 2 to 3 weeks) to do better.

The problem with resolutions have less to do with our earnest desires to improve and more to do with our self worth when we falter.

And, statistically, most of us falter. What follows is self-doubt, shame and blame. Then we rationalize with such thoughts as…

“I’ve already blown it. Why keep trying?”

And just like that, we give up…Until we get so frustrated that we make another resolution.

What a cycle!

What a roller-coaster of emotion and stress!

Like Maslow theorized, we are all searching for the top of the pyramid: self actualization. The climb is long and arduous, especially for those who arrest at a lower tier as a result of life experiences or choices. So we are not all traveling on the same path. We are not running at the same pace. We are not reaching for the same golden rings.

So, why are we always comparing ourselves to each other? Why are we so disappointed when we aren’t the people in the commercials…you know the ones smiling and toasting their good fortune?

My resolution this year is to love myself: the extra weight, the wrinkles, the occasional cookie binge. I also resolve to spend my time figuring out the things that really make me happy. Then, making time for those activities.

How do Resolutions relate to Social Work?

Social workers are hard wired, it seems, to put others’ happiness before their own. Despite all the literature on secondary traumatic stress, they plod on, like camels, carrying the baggage of those in crisis across the desert. They pour out water to those who have none, until their own sisterns run dry.

Be Resolved! Fill up your well again.

Resolve to take care of yourself in 2020. No one will remind you to take time for you. It’s so easy to pass up on enjoyable things because you are just too busy.

Dont blame your boss. That’s on you.

Resolve to carve out time for the things that bring you joy. Laugh! Nothing replenishes your well more quickly than joy and laughter.

Resolve to enjoy your family and friends.

Go for a walk on the beach with your husband, your wife, your child or just by yourself. Soak up the infinite sky.

Take a yoga class and learn about your chakras.

Whatever brings you happiness and brings you closer to appreciating your “you-ness”…will fill you back up.

After taking care of you…THEN you can take care of them. They will always be there, needing you. By taking care of yourself, you will also be there for them.