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Instead of New Year's Resolutions, Try New Year's Gifts

Instead of making New Year’s Resolutions, I am giving myself New Year’s Gifts in 2020.

Before you dismiss this idea out of hand as Pollyana and cheesy, consider that only 8% of us actually keep our New Year’s Resolutions.  Because rules are hard, boring and tiresome, even (especially?) the ones we make for ourselves.  Plus, it’s always possible to be Pollyana and cheesy – AND right. 

So this year, I’m reframing my efforts at self-improvement into monthly gifts that I’m giving myself.

Admittedly, I’m only 2.5 days into my January “gift of freedom from alcohol”, but it did help me to focus on the positives of waking up feeling more refreshed, sleeping through the night, and avoiding the pitfall of bourbon-induced maudlin midnight self-pity fests.  What a fabulous gift, right?!

Even the concept of giving myself a thoughtful gift is a novel one that I’m trying on for size. I must be someone truly worthy to be gifted something so thoughtful.  There is worth and value to be reckoned with on both sides of this gifting equation. Yes,  A=A, but what is the value of A?

This mindset ends up being a virtuous loop because, to overextend the metaphor, you can then thank yourself for that lovely gift that only someone who knew the past, current and future you so well could have picked out. And gratitude is the root of everything good.

I’ve struggled with the idea of how to execute on being kind to myself for a long time.  Mostly it comes in the form of forgiveness, to try not to be so angry when I mess up.  What I am intrigued by in my “2020 gifting strategy” is that this form of being kind to myself is more proactive.  It feels like a more complete form of love.

My “dry September” last year turned into “dry-er September” then slid into “not monsoon season September,” so I’m curious to see how this attitude trick goes.