The New Year is quickly approaching. Every year, millions of people will make New Year's Resolutions.
Most will have broken them before February. Guilt and shame are usually quick to follow.
I don't think that having a laundry list of changes where you fail if you slip up once is healthy. (Others may disagree. I'm okay with that.) But don't we have enough guilt and pressure already? Why voluntarily add one more thing to hurt ourselves?
I have a different approach. I feel it's more realistic, healthier, and more effective.
It's a Goodbye/Hello Letter.
It can be done anytime you want to make a change or transition, but I find it a wonderful alternative to the New Year's Resolution tradition. It has two components.
THE "GOODBYE, OLD SELF" LETTER
This letter is done first. Write the letter as you would to a friend you are fond of, but you know you need to part ways. Recall your good times and what you love about your old self. Then list what you aren't happy about, and then sign off saying you wish them well, but you have to move on.
THE "HELLO, NEW SELF" LETTER
Now write a letter to the person you want to become. Introduce yourself, like you would to a new pen pal that you would meet soon. Explain that you are just leaving a long-time relationship (which you are, with your Old Self), but you are happy to meet this new person and get to know them.
What are the qualities you want to see in your new self? Eating healthier, spending more time with loved ones, finishing your degree - whatever it is, describe it. See the person you want to become.
If you falter, it's okay. You are "meeting" (becoming) someone new. Every new relationship has hiccups along the way. It's fine. It's not a Resolution. It's a Redirection. And every traveler uses a compass to course correct along the way.
Keep these letters. Save them. Look back on them. See how you've changed and grown. Remember what you have overcome. And save them for future generations to learn more about you (if you choose).
Thanks for reading!
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