New Year’s Resolutions are traditionally approached in what you will do different this year to make life better. I will go to the gym 3x/ week (or, I will find a gym!). I will get 8 hours sleep. I will take a cooking class. Here is another approach to the New Years Resolutions specifically for emotional and spiritual maturity. Instead of resolving to “do” something, how about resolving to “quit” something?
I will quit being afraid of what others think
I will not say “yes” when I really want to say “no” because I’m are afraid the other person will be angry, sad or disappointed. I will quit agreeing with people if I really don’t agree with them. I won’t be okay with myself only if you are okay with me.
I will quit lying
I will be honest with MYSELF. I will admit what I am really thinking, really feeling, and what I really want. I will declare my truth to others, not fearing what they think. That truth can be as simple as “I don’t want to eat at that restaurant” or “I don’t want to see that movie”, or as big as “I was deeply hurt that you did not call” or “I lied to you.”
I will quit dying to the wrong things
I won’t put things most important, like self-care, at the mercy of things least important, like always putting others before myself. I will actively pursue a day of rest and what is fun for me. I will make time for those things that are a delight to my unique soul.
I will quit denying sadness, anger and fear.
I will no longer believe inhuman rules like “don’t be sad”, “it’s bad to be angry”, or you’re weak if you’re afraid.” I will feel all my feelings and not mark any of them as bad or weak. I will treat them as “guests” sent to teach me something. I won’t put them in the driver’s seat and let them control me, or put them in the trunk and ignore them. I will pay attention to them all and then decide what to do with them.
I will quit blaming
I acknowledge it is a comfortable reaction for me but I realize that I am actually giving away my personal power of choices when I blame. I will take responsibility for my life because no one else is responsible for my life and happiness but me.
I will quit overfunctioning
I will quit doing for others what they can and should do for themselves. I will stop perpetuating their immaturity or my false sense of indispensability. When tempted to overfunction I will ask, “why do I want to do this?” I will use my extra time to think about my life’s goals.
I will quit faulty thinking
I will not assume I know what others are thinking without checking it out with them. I won’t jump to negative interpretations in my thoughts when I don’t have all the information. I will not take things personally.
I will quit living someone else’s life
I will pay attention to my personal rhythms for waking, sleeping, playing and working. I will nurture those things that bring me life and minimize that which brings me death. I will put boundaries around everything that breathes. I will follow what is important to me and live the one, unrepeatable life given to me by God.
Each of these “Quits” are further explored in Geri’s book The Emotionally Healthy Woman (Zondervan, 2011) and the further applied in the small group curriculum: The Emotionally Healthy Woman Workbook and accompanying DVD.