Q: Can you share some tools to help me with setting healthy new years resolutions?
A: The beginning of a new year prompts reflection on the passing one, and often setting new goals for the upcoming year. For many of us this can look like making resolutions to become better versions of ourselves, to try harder or to accomplish more. While having goals and intentions can help motivate us and drive the manifestation of our dreams, sometimes these resolutions – or our falling short of an ideal of perfectionism – can lead to being hard on ourselves. In my experience working with patients, and in my personal experience as well, we have no shortage of goals and drive, but sometimes can lack self-compassion. I find the work of Kristen Neff on self-compassion to be a lovely balm for improving self-acceptance and self-kindness. She offers several free meditations on self-compassion on her website. Using these tools, we can practice accepting ourselves in our current imperfect state, while continuing to work on our growth and evolution. Brene Brown has been another important resource for me in this regard; all of her books are fantastic but I highly recommend The Gifts of Imperfection. Brown is also offering a comprehensive online resource called Courage Works for a more structured program with online classes and community support. Finally, I find the ‘One Word’ prompt from Christine Kane to be a very helpful way to succinctly set a goal or intention for the coming year, and have used a method similar to this for many years myself. While all of the above are tools and resources to help set healthy new years resolutions, I would be remiss if I didn’t share some of my favorite plant allies to support this process. The flower essence Yarrow is an important remedy to gently support balance with sensitivity and empathy, setting healthy boundaries both in our relationship with others and with ourselves. And botanical Motherwort tincture is a precious nervous system support and endocrine tonic that helps calm the nerves – I find to be essential at this time of year!
Wishing you a healthy and happy holiday season, and a new year filled with peace and joy.
Diana Quinn, ND