The start of a new year, new month, or even a new week can often include a lot of self-induced pressure.

The pressure to “start strong” and hit the ground running when it comes to your resolutions or intentions.

The pressure to hit all your workouts without space to rest.

The pressure to start new habits with big moves instead of small-but-mighty changes.

But what happens when you miss a day of your goals, decide to lean into rest, or step outside of your plans?

For so many people, that’s when self-criticism sneaks in.

The inner critic in our head takes over with messages of self-doubt or shame, calling our worth into question. And then, it gets even harder to make progress with this voice in our heads.

Thankfully, there’s another way.

Progress doesn’t have to come with a side of pressure.

In fact, the most meaningful progress often happens when we show up consistently—but with compassion, too.

That formula—“consistency X compassion = progress"—can help you move forward when it comes to your goals and intentions, but also give you space to be human.

When we inject compassion into what we do, we’re opening ourselves up to much more gratitude—for ourselves and others.

Research has also proven other benefits: Those who practice self-compassion more tend to have "greater happiness, life satisfaction and motivation, better relationships and physical health, and less anxiety and depression."

How to bring “consistency x compassion = progress" to life.

What does it look like to bring this formula into your day-to-day life?

There's no one-size-fits all answer, but a good place to start is with some self-reflection. We have a lot of practice in knowing how to shame ourselves, but self-compassion is a new muscle for so many of us to flex.

Here are some questions to help you reflect on what self-compassion can look and feel like in your life:

  • What does it look, sound, and feel like to treat yourself with compassion and care?
  • What does it look like to add compassion to the intentions you’re setting this week, this month, and this year?
  • How can you be kind to yourself when you need a break or a day off?
  • What does “consistency x compassion” mean to you?

Use these questions to guide you as you move through the habits you're creating and make progress on your terms.