Making SANE resolutions after the stressful holidays (Wait…haven’t I already missed the deadline?)

You’ve just gotten through the holidays and next up is writing New Year’s resolutions. Ugh! I like the idea a friend of mine shared on Facebook; she writes a letter to herself at the end of each year, sharing her hopes, dreams and fears. She seals it up and reads the letter a year later. I may have to start writing my “letter” in November, however, because after the holiday hubbub, I’m feeling a bit melancholy.

I also feel a bit vulnerable when writing down what it is I want to achieve or do or be “when I grow up.” So I listened to Brené Brown’s TED Talk The Power of Vulnerability. What struck me this time was when she said, “We can’t practice compassion with other people if we can’t treat ourselves kindly.” Bingo!

impossible-possibleNow I can breathe, let go and figure out what I want for 2017. When I developed the SANE Method™ (Supported, Appreciated, Not Guilty and Energized) for caregivers, I knew it could also be used in many other life situations. Letting go of one year and looking forward to a new year is one such time the SANE Method™ can be used. Here’s how I used SANE™:


Support. I needed comfort and encouragement, so I called on a friend who could listen (without judgment) to my fears and hopes for the new year. Just the act of letting go of the negative allowed my dreams to spill out onto the page.

Appreciated. I am so thankful I asked for help. Finding ways to be grateful towards others is good, but self-appreciation can be even more important. It feels odd at first to purposefully appreciate your own actions, but just keep doing it. After a while, you will stop looking outwards for gratitude and start looking within.

Not Guilty. I used to feel guilty about asking for help (I grew up in Minnesota where we “pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps.”) But no more! I’ve learned from wise friends and life experiences that feeling vulnerable is my wake up call to reach out. I don’t have to be in charge all the time. Vulnerability reminds me that I am one person in a much larger village and that looking to others for help is okay.

Energized. Because I’ve worked through the first three letters in the SANE Method™, I have energy to face future challenges. Now when I tweak my resolutions, I can look at them in a completely new light and really unleash my creativity. Doing this brings about more zest for life. And if I start going down the rabbit hole of feeling scared, I simply revisit Support.

You have not missed the deadline for writing your New Year’s resolutions. There is no deadline. And whether it’s writing your resolutions or noodling out how you will fit caregiving duties into your already busy schedule, try the SANE Method™. I know it will work for you, too.

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