As we wind down 2021 and the New Year approaches, I am starting to think about New Year’s Resolutions. To be honest, I have a love/hate relationship with the whole resolution thing. On the one hand, I like to think about how I can improve, change and create new habits. On the other hand, resolutions can make me feel badly about where I have fallen short or wish I were different. All year I struggle with acceptance and the New Year can feel like a full court press of self rejection. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Breaking old habits and building new ones is hard. And quite frankly, starting out feeling deficient is no way to begin making a change. Instead, I need all the confidence and resolve that I can muster to even think about being successful. I wouldn’t send my kids out to try something new by highlighting all their shortcomings first. No, I would say, “You’ve got this. You are brave and strong and really great at climbing”. So why should it be any different for me?
It shouldn't. So that is why this year I am taking a different approach to New Year's resolutions, one that I use when I am coaching parents.
When I start working with a client, before we even begin to think about how to make a change, we take a deep dive into strengths and what’s working in their parenting. We do this because we want to work from a place of strength and positivity. From that place they are poised to build new skills and discover how to break old habits and catalyze sustainable change.
So, this year I created my “Best of 2021 Parenting Edition”. And here is what’s on it:
3 ways in which I saw my values reflected in my kids.
3 ways I surprised myself as a parent.
3 moments of joy I experienced with my kids.
3 parenting moments I am proud of.
3 things I learned about myself through parenting.
3 opportunities I created for my kids.
3 things I am grateful for.
And you can do this TOO!
As you prepare for the New Year, start by making your own “Best of 2021: Parenting Edition”. Acknowledge all you’ve done well this last year. Give yourself some credit. Reveal what has worked for you and where you shined in 2021. Celebrate your wins, both big and small. Write them down, revisit them and decide how you can harness your strengths into possibilities for the future.
Begin the change process by building confidence and faith in your own power. Flex your muscles in front of the mirror and see how strong you are. Then with confidence, clarity and vision draft your resolutions, go forth and watch yourself grow.
Happy New Year!
Jenny Michaelson is a PCI,
Writing Contributor at: