The Grace Resolution
With 2021 coming to a close, it is natural, if not expected, to have goals and expectations for the upcoming year. So as we prepare to leave the troubles of the past year behind us and put our best foot forward in 2022, we face one final question: what are your New Year’s resolutions?
To some, this question is daunting; to others, exciting. However, after hours of scouring the internet, and reading enough ‘5 Ways to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions‘ blog posts to make my head explode, I present a somewhat unorthodox solution to this ever-present question: The Grace Resolution.
Of course, resolutions can be a great way to promote self-growth. And sure, your goal to eat healthier and spend less seems harmless enough. But if you often find yourself stuck in a cycle of guilt and stress from expectations, it might be time to factor some grace into the equation.
The Reality Behind Resolutions
In a society rooted in ‘grind culture’, we can often feel pressure to live up to a certain expectation or version of ourselves, especially as educators. The harsh truth behind New Year’s resolutions is that placing these expectations on ourselves can often lead to burnout. Forbes explains that there are numerous reasons behind this burnout, including subconscious behaviors, lack of structure, and self-doubt. These are the same reasons why studies have shown that a whopping 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail, and the average American breaks their resolution about 32 days into the new year.
So what happens when we break free from the pressure of becoming our best self, and have grace with our current self? More so, how do we break free from it?
Take a moment back to your last year’s resolutions. Perhaps you did not follow through with them completely, or as much as you would have liked to. Now think back to the year before that, and the year before that, and… well, you get the point.
All to say that maybe (just maybe) resolutions don’t stick for a reason. Because we are not machines, but human beings with ever-changing feelings, routines, and seasons of life. Once we become at peace with this, we begin to accept our humanity, in all its ebbs and flows, and be graceful with ourselves.
With that grace, we can experience and be present in all life has to offer. We can bask in the peaks and learn from the valleys, liberated from the pressure of who and what we are ‘supposed’ to be. We can find freedom in being who we truly are, extending this grace to others as well.
So step into this year free from the baggage of expectations and resolutions, and welcome the grace of being present in your humanity. Take each day for what it is, letting grace carry you throughout the year. By doing this, you may just find that giving yourself grace brings more joy and happiness to your life than if you had achieved any number of resolutions.
Cheers and Happy New Year!
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