My New Year's Resolution Is to Reach Contentment
In the past, I loved setting New Year's resolutions. But this year, my only resolution is to reach contentment. Collins English Dictionary defines contentment as "a feeling of quiet happiness and satisfaction."1 I think of quiet happiness as inner peace. That is something I rarely experience because anxiety and depression are loud and heavy. During the most stressful times, I forget that it is possible to find peace. In this post, I will share six steps to reach contentment this year.
6 Steps to Reach Contentment
- I will reflect on the positive moments. Reflection is important because it reminds me that if I have found peace and satisfaction in the past, I can find it again. There were two specific times I found peace in the past. After getting an F on my first philosophy test in college, I scored a B on the second test. After thinking I was awful at my job, I was offered a promotion. Events like those did not happen all the time. But when they did, I felt better about myself and life in general. They reminded me good things could happen sometimes.
- I will find gratitude during stressful times. It's difficult to feel grateful during challenging times. Why would I feel grateful when I'm exhausted after a long day? I feel grateful for my job and the ability to write. I feel grateful for having friends who encourage me to pursue what I love. I feel grateful for everything keeping me alive. I will keep a gratitude list and look back at it every time I feel low.
- I will treat myself more kindly. Anxiety and depression sometimes cause me to hate myself. I feel like a burden to my loved ones when I need their help. I worry about annoying my coworkers or saying something stupid. These thoughts destroy my self-esteem, and this holds me back from contentment. But after years of therapy, I realize that self-compassion is something important to work on. I need help sometimes, but that is okay. Everyone struggles with something. I make mistakes, but that is okay. Mistakes provide opportunities to grow and improve. Instead of judging myself for being imperfect, I will encourage myself to improve.
- I will set and work toward realistic goals. Some of the resolutions I set in the past are now things I will consider goals. They can be achieved in any timeframe I give them. For instance, I would like to become more physically fit in the next month. To do this, I will reduce my junk food consumption and exercise for 30 minutes per day. I would also like to become more organized in the next week. To do this, I will set reminders on my phone to straighten my room every day.
- I will reward myself for small achievements. Goals are difficult to achieve. They require discipline and making changes that are not always fun. To make goals easier, I will give myself rewards or incentives along the way. For instance, if I go one week without junk food, I will reward myself with a bowl of ice cream. If I spend 30 minutes straightening my room every day, I will reward myself with a television show.
- I will remind myself that no matter what happens, everything will be okay. Anxiety tells me that I have to worry about everything all the time. But I know that this is not true. Even if I do not meet my goals in my desired time frame, life will go on. I will have a fulfilling future. Everything will be okay.
- Definition of “Contentment.” (n.d.). https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/contentment. Retrieved January 1, 2023, from https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/contentment
Lueck, M. (2023, January 2). My New Year's Resolution Is to Reach Contentment, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, December 5 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/toughtimes/2023/1/my-new-years-resolution-is-to-reach-contentment