Enough said.

I keep thinking 2019 was last year, how about you?

The truth is, we’re just not sure what this upcoming year has in store. Typically, many of us would be setting intentions full of hope (and maybe a little grandeur) right about now. 

And there’s nothing wrong with setting the bar high!

But I think many of us have some trepidation right now of having too many expectations. We simply can’t bear more turmoil, stress, or disappointment. 

I visualize this year as us sort of peeking our head out of our hibernation holes to see if the weather is certain enough for us to fully emerge. 

We’re scared. Let’s put it that way. We’re unsure, we’re taking it slow. And that’s OK.

Let’s talk about some realistic intentions to set that honour where we’re at and give us a feeling that we can succeed even amid all this uncertainty and instability. 

What do you want from this year?

To cope better? 
To put less pressure on yourself?
To ask for help when needed and without guilt or shame?
To say, “Actually, I’m not fine” when someone asks how you are?
To use humour in impossible situations (Like saying, “The world is on fire and I’m a hot mess! How about you?” when someone asks how the day has been?)
To simply be present for your kids without trying to teach them grand skills? To just let yourself un-parent for a bit and just be there? 
To say, “actually I need to be present for myself for a bit” and take that self-care time unselfishly?
To feel gratitude for what has helped or worked? While also acknowledging pain (because there is no need to paint a rosy picture over the past couple of years)?

All of these may seem small in comparison to our typical New Year’s Intentions (which often revolve around becoming completely different people somehow). 

But the truth is these small changes are huge. 

Imagine the power of self-forgiveness; Of saying, “yeah, it’s OK that my kids were on their iPad for two years straight” or, “who cares if I fed them chicken nuggets for 18 meals in a row. We all got fed.”

Imagine the power of acknowledging that you survived and that when in survival mode our bar of expectations and standards needs to be altered. And you altered it. You recognized a need to pivot and you shifted. 

That’s parenting. You did it! You literally did everything you needed to. 

You were on the pulse of the world, on the pulse of your kid, and on the pulse of your needs and you adapted against all odds. 

Imagine having compassion for all the times you yelled at each other as a family because you were cooped up and scared and triggers were flying left right and centre. Imagine, instead of chastising yourself or holding resentments towards each other, you say, “Wow, that was hard. We’re still standing and we still love each other”. 

When we set our expectations smaller, and we use compassion and forgiveness as the barometers, we give ourselves freedom. 

We lift the shackles of guilt and pressure that come from having goals that we simply cannot achieve (losing a million pounds, never raising our voice to our kids, becoming a time management superhero, suddenly eating salads every day, waking up at 3 am and running 22 miles)

Yes, I get that these were exaggerations. But how many of the goals that you typically set end up being a bit exaggerated and thus make you feel like crap in the end? It’s the opposite of their purpose, which is ultimately to make your life better. 

If you want to make your life better, I suggest committing to forgiveness and compassion – for yourself and for others. We all hurt this year. We hurt ourselves, we hurt each other, we got hurt. Forgiveness and compassion will help us heal. 

Healing brings the freedom that so many of us are now craving. 

So what do you want to commit to as an intention for the upcoming year that will give you freedom? That will heal you?

Make it small. Make it something you can practice everyday without effort. 

You will be shocked by how much of a transformation you will see by 2023. 

I’m truly sending you love and warmth, safety and wellness. You aren’t alone. You can take on another year – and we are here to support you.