Be Kind to Yourself in 2019

If you subscribe to many emails from big bloggers. Or get served Facebook Ads from productivity gurus, you’ll see lots of headlines like this:

  • Make 2019 Your Best Year Ever!
  • Crush Your Goals in 2019!
  • Lose 30 Pounds and Build the Body of Your Dreams!
  • Get Ripped, Eat Perfectly and Make Millions!

Ok, some of those may be an exaggeration but not by much.

The sellers of such fantasies aren’t stupid. They’re brilliant actually.

Because deep down, we all hope the turning of a calendar page will fix everything we think is wrong with us.

We resonate and say “oh hell yeah” to those messages because we want so badly for them to be true.

We hope a new start will clean up all the messes we made the previous year.

Again, all good desires. And if you accomplish all those things in 2019, cheers to you.

For real.

Maybe I’m the problem, but I’ve tried lots of these tips and tricks.

I led our family through an exercise one December where we each painted one word on a canvas that we wanted to define our upcoming year.

I wrote abundance. And told everyone it was about finding abundance in relationships but deep down I wanted to make a ton of money that year.

I’ve done Whole30 for real one time. And started it 74 other times but then succumbed to chips and salsa. And margaritas.

I’ve told Brooke we’d do weekly date nights. And then apologized to her on our monthly ones.

I bought Moleskin notebooks, whiteboards, Evernote, a standing desk and other ways to “optimize” and “become more efficient” with my work. Then some days I stay in sweatpants and feel so overwhelmed I design girls basketball uniforms for my daughters’ teams on Nike.com.

I say to myself that I can eat clean for six days and cheat one day. Then I cheat six days and eat clean for one.

Again, maybe I’m the problem. I miss the mark often it seems.

Or maybe shame and should don’t reach the soil of where real change happens.

In the heart and soul of a person.

Because when shame and should drive the bus, here’s what happens:

  • When I miss the mark, my temptation is to tell myself how bad I suck.
  • When I eat or drink too much, my self-talk is the opposite of compassionate.
  • When I blow it with a bad decision at work, I want to fire myself and give him no grace.
  • When my relationships aren’t always sunshine and puppy dogs, I believe I’m bad and offer no value to those around me.

So instead of lofty, shame-filled goals and motivations in 2019, I’m going to try and embrace 2019 as the Year of Being Kind to Myself. It’s a song that helped me through a dark season, so I’m going to make a year of it.

I hope that as I get more gray hair my black and white goals become more gray as well.

  • Celebrate the little victories, amidst some failures.
  • Cheer for the good, even when there’s some bad.
  • Give compassion for the miss, misses are normal.
  • Focus on the growth, even when there are parts that need to grow more.
  • Embrace the humanity.
  • Stop the pursuit of perfection.

I’m sure lots of courses are sold with the promise of ripped abs, riches and rock-solid relationships.

And if those things come for you or me in 2019, that’s great!

But if they don’t, let’s be kind to each other and realize we’re human. Not productivity machines.

Cheers to a kind, productive 2019.

We got this.

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