That’s right. That’s what I said.
I love resolutions. I also love the idea and feeling of a new start. A new calendar year can bring this feeling but many other feelings can surface as well. We are quick to judge our negative feelings instead of just feeling and observing them.
There is a weird illusion and belief that just because the calendar ends in more digits, we miraculously should be motivated to change something about ourselves. We are learning, growing, and evolving all the time; not just as the new year comes. But if we do not take time to reflect or acknowledge this, we tend to jump forward without really thinking about what we want. We can get caught up thinking we need to improve everything right now, be better, do more, be happier. But maybe, just maybe, we are doing enough as it is.
A new year does not need to trigger a new start. There are a lot of beginnings and endings in life. A new job, leaving an old job, having a baby, watching a child leave the house, Good days, and better days.
There is a myth that if you add more to your plate, make another resolution to change your body, or volunteer more you are doing the right thing. But you might just be following societal norms and setting yourself up for disappointment.
We can take advantage of this hype of the new year but only if you are ready for it.
If you need another month to make goals, take your time. Or if you don’t want to make them at all, then don’t.
It’s all okay.
You are you.
But because I do love the new feeling of a new year too, you could follow some of my tips below to avoid setting yourself up for failure.
Want to exercise more? Do not go spend thousands of dollars on a new workout machine or buy a gym membership if you don’t really want to. If you want to be healthier, than start small. Add in more walking. Get a cheap fit bit and make step goals. Try out free classes at your local gym instead of joining right away. Slow and steady.
Want to read more books? Stop at your local library and get a free membership there. Check out one book at a time and read just a little each day. Get up ten minutes earlier and enjoy laying in your warm bed while you read your new book. This can be your new excuse instead of hitting snooze and feeling frustrated. Now you have a reason to stay in bed longer.
Want to eat healthier? Find one recipe you could try this week. Make it and see if your family likes it. Try another recipe the following week. But one a week is enough! I have been doing this for a couple years. I do not do it every week but every so often I remind myself to find new, healthier recipes but to do it one at a time. Sometimes I get down on myself or frustrated with the amount of sugar my kids are eating and I want to change it all, all at once. But when I try to do these extreme things, I face pushback from my family and resistance from myself, making excuses as to why I cannot do it. Slow and steady.
Want to spend more time with your family? This one is more difficult because there will always be something else you can be doing. It's a mind shift to be more present with your kids and family. We have added more games into our weeks. We also decided on Sunday being technology-free days. There are many ideas out there to make this one work but it will ultimately come down to your daily decision to do it.
All of these ideas need daily intention. That’s what makes resolutions so hard. It is meant to be a long change and you can only see the ‘results’ after your year is up. When January 31 comes around, take some time to reflect, then pat yourself on the back for whatever you have accomplished. Accomplishments can look like reading one day a week, changing one food habit (not all of them), adding a few more steps to your day (even if you don’t reach your daily goal), and recognizing you are a human and allowed to take it slow.
Who cares what the calendar says. You are enough the way you are. Take your time, be thoughtful, and listen to how you feel. Make a resolution or don’t, but be happy with what you decide. Stop judging yourself and be real. You are a powerful human being. Act as such. Continue to allow and accept what comes to you. You’re creating a life you want to live. Decide what that life looks like and take action. 2023, here we come.