By Vega Subramaniam
It’s mid-February. Would you look at that.
Mid-February, and already I’m not exercising every week (or ever). I haven’t finished my crochet project. To be sure, I did register for the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament (priorities, people!), but I haven’t been printing and solving crossword puzzles on paper in preparation.
February is a curious month. It sits there, between January’s New Year and March’s springtime, pretending to be innocuous.
Don’t be fooled: February is not innocuous. It bears the weight of all of our shattered dreams. It is the month of reckoning.
In most years, late December through January has a predictable arc. It’s cold, dark, and snowy. BUT, the days are getting longer, praise all that is good and holy. There’s the afterglow of the just-passed holidays. There’s long-term vision and alignment with purpose and passion—and the optimism that a shiny new year offers. There’s a willingness to face habit-change challenge with renewed resolve because THIS year will be DIFFERENT.
THEN. Then, there’s the impending recognition, by about this time of year, that THIS year will NOT be different.
So this is the point in the year when I take a close look at myself. My petty personal setbacks. My resolution abandonment. My craving to nestle under the covers hibernating rather than face more cold and snow. (Mala tells me I need to wake up to the reality that I am a bear, and it’s not the cold and snow I need to face, but rather the fact that as a bear, I must do as bears do.) (I don’t even know what that means.)
By this time, you might, like me, be drowning in articles that share depressing data about how few of us actually achieve our New Year’s resolutions, and then advise us on how to keep plugging away anyway.
Good news, friends! Here’s another one! What can I say, I aim to please.
Bear (see what I did there?) with me, though! I am anxious to share (other people’s) wise words about self-compassion, and what that has to do with goal-achievement.