With New Year’s Day soon approaching, many of us have resolutions for the next year. Some of us may be trying to lose weight, quit smoking, or change other habits. A new year brings hope for most. However, once the hope fades we become much more likely to find ourselves let down. Every year we end up being a little too hard on ourselves.

I used to come up with a new resolution every year. One year it was to stop smoking. Another year it was to exercise more. There was even a year where my resolution was to stop putting so much time and energy into my love life. No matter what the resolution was, I always found myself falling back into old habits. As soon as I did, I was horrible to myself. I would start saying terrible things to myself that I would never say about anyone else. I would start hating myself for breaking a resolution. Instead of being mindful of a slip-up and moving on from there, I would become consumed by self-loathing. This would cause me to become more depressed and sometimes even drive me to forget about the resolution all together.

We come up with these ideas of who we want to be in the New Year. We think that we can suddenly flick a switch and change our behaviours. It is a wonderful idea to want to change ourselves for the better, but we have to be patient along the way. No one is able to change themselves in an instant and never revert back to their old ways.

So this year, whatever your resolution is, make sure to take it easy on yourself. You cannot be perfect every day. Maybe your resolution is to start going to the gym regularly. If you miss a workout, do not allow that voice to come on that calls you a failure. When you do that, you only end up tearing yourself down and making it more likely that you will not continue with your resolution. Instead, remind yourself that you are human and you are allowed to slip-up. Be kind to yourself.