What is it about the New Year that makes us all think about change and ultimately a New Year’s resolution? Sometimes I wonder if it is just the name “New” Year. Or is it being around our family and thinking about what we want to be different the next time they see us? After getting some much needed rest from work do we think about all we would have done differently?
What ever it is, we are often inspired to change something about ourselves. We set these BIG goals for a result, we buy new gym or weigh loss memberships, start a detox, sign up to volunteer.
Then BAM! Your schedule, to-do list, work expectations, a fight with someone important to you, a bad diagnosis for you or a family member and now you are just trying to get out of bed.
Ultimately disappointment and feelings of failure sink in and compound the issue. The sadness then grows as you miss a work out, start using your phone the minute you wake up, eat something you didn’t plan, more guilt sets in…. and finally you give up.
Protect your resolution by trying something different
Now that you have set some goals for yourself here are some ways you can keep it alive and make it a change for the long term.
Be gentle with yourself!
Nothing worth doing will be simple to do. You will likely “fall off the wagon” of your resolution a few times. It’s what you say to yourself that will make all the difference to how you react to it. So when you miss that day at the gym, will you say “I’m a failure why did I ever start this?” or will you take a walk and think about why you missed it and how you can learn from it? When you go for a lunch with a friend and order something you regret, will you call yourself names in the mirror? Or will you climb some stairs to burn off the extra calories and have a plan for looking up the menu before you go next time.
Create balance and protect self care!
It’s easy to get caught up in our busy schedules. Finding balance between work, friends, family and your resolution commitments while protecting time for your self can be difficult. We tend to leave ourselves to last. Self care tends to be last and mostly the one forgotten. So when you plan, plan in that time for you! This will prevent burn out and increased stress. What helps you re-connect to you?
- Escape into the mountains for a hike.
- Find a quiet place every day for 30 minutes with your journal or a good book.
- Give yourself a spa day. It could be at your favorite place, or in your own home. Or have some fun with some friends for a spa party. Facials, fun and laughs!
- Take the time for activities that reconnect to your mind, body, and soul. Keep a yoga mat in your car, take a meditating walk or go for a retreat.
Identify Your People!
I just love the term “Go with the goers!” Who we spend time with has a large impact on how we feel. So spend time with people who build you up, are positive and living the dream you want for yourself. Life is too short and too precious to spend it with people who add negativity and bring you down. As much as possible, surround yourself with those who lift you up, challenge you, and support you in becoming who you want to be.
Not sure? Answer these questions
- Who brings out the best in you?
- Which person makes you laugh till you cry?
- Who leaves you in a good mood?
- How do they support your resolution goals?
Plan time with your goers!
There is nothing more healing than laughs and fun with friends! So now that you know who fills you up and helps you de-stress… spend time together!
- Monthly dinners
- Weekly coffee dates
- Exercising together twice a week
- Exploring different parts of your city
- Weekend trips to the country
- Attach these activities with your resolution. Ie, if you are looking to add more exercise, plan an activity that provides it like a hike.
Reflect and learn
Being mindful doesn’t mean we don’t look back or look forward. What it means is we don’t live in the past or live for the future. Give yourself time to look back without judgement on the past year, what happened, the good, the bad and everything between. What can you learn from it? How can you use those lessons to serve you and build a foundation for your future.
Give yourself this reflection space by:
- Schedule journal time, carry it with you for those moments when big thoughts happen.
- Process it with a loved one, this could be a friend or partner. Break it down into chunks over a meal, or a hike.
- Make a memory board of last year next to your vision board for this year?
- Use meditation to think back, visualize where you started and where you finished the year.
- Take time to reflect on how your resolution is going? What hurdles have you faced? How have you reacted? What could you do differently? What would be the affect?
Give yourself gratitude
Breaking the cycle of stressful thinking can be done with gratitude. Done regularly, gratitude provides you a change in perspective that will change how you face daily stresses. Picking just 3 things a day and taking time to really appreciate them will help you not only change your thinking, but also help you see what is important for you and what brings you joy.
Then take the time to share it! Express your gratitude to those who you are thankful for. Not only will it feel good to give them thanks for having a positive impact on your life, it will come to them when they most need it.
Find joy in who you are today
It can be exhausting to listen to our inner voice telling us we aren’t good enough. Instead of listening to that voice, turn the tables on that inner voice imagine a life where you can just sit with yourself in acceptance.
Here are some ways to celebrate and practice self-acceptance:
- Make a list of all of the things about yourself you are proud of
- Ask others to tell you what they admire in you
- Meditate with the mantra, “I am happy with who I am right now”
In the end, remember this. There is nothing wrong with wanting to grow and improve. What’s important is to remember we are complex beings. Instead of wanting to change who you are, think about it as adding something. This change of perspective will allow you to accept where you are in the present moment first, and allow this “addition” to who you are as a positive non-judgmental energy.