Holiday Survival Guide (Week 8): NEW YEAR, NEW YOU?
Ah, the holidays are coming to an end and a new year is approaching. The gifts have been given, the travels have been traveled, the weird distant cousins have all gone home, and now we can kick our feet back and start making miles long lists of all of the shit we want to change about ourselves. Sweet, sweet… relief? I don’t know about you, but I always feel a metric ton of pressure around New Years’. Not only are we reflecting back on the year behind us, but we are also planning for the one ahead.
While foresight and setting goals is a fabulous way to begin a new year, there might be a few things we want to keep in mind:
KEEP IT REAL, DUDE
There is something really magical about the motivation we feel at the beginning of things. It can be relatively easy to decide we’re going to quadruple our gym efforts and nail it for a few weeks. The issue that many of us run into is that our goals and resolutions aren’t actually all that realistic. We start to lose steam when we don’t keep ourselves in mind while we’re excitedly setting those goals.
It’s a great goal to want to spend more time in the gym, but if you’re currently not spending any at all, it might be a bit overwhelming to start suddenly going every single day. You’re far more likely to burn out and stop going altogether. Set yourself up for success and keep your resolutions reachable!
SUMMIT MORE OFTEN
Being able to see the peak can make a climb much easier to keep reaching for. Set little goals along the way toward bigger ones. Not only does it help to keep your goals realistic, but it also helps keep us motivated! It’s so much easier to stop and turn around when the end is nowhere in sight.
Give yourself little summits along the way. Once you’ve identified your big goal, take some time to break it down into steps and let each one of those represent a peak all by itself. If having a little bit of pressure helps to keep you going, set reasonable deadlines, too.
TAKE CARE OF YOU
We’re so much more likely to remember something when we write it down. It makes it somehow more official to see our goals written out. Almost as if the pen ink acts to make something more concrete.
Give an “uber list” a try. It’s a living document of goals that you want to do in the new year. The goals can be teeny like unsubscribe from spam email as you read them. Or something huge like plan trip to the Grand Canyon. You can also do an uber list in a group of friends or a buddy for fun and accountability. Here’s a quirky example of one.
YOU’RE HUMAN AFTER ALL
As with anything we set out to do, walk into the journey with a whole heap of compassion for yourself. Remember that learning something new takes time and often some mistakes.
It’s okay to be human. Take care of yourself along the way.
HAVE SOME FUN, DAMNIT
It is so tempting to take everything we set out to do at the beginning of the year very seriously. Of course, we do! You’re also more likely to continue to follow through on your goals if you’re enjoying your time doing it.
Let’s say your 2020 goal is to increase connection in your relationship. Who says it has to be spending more time on the couch watching Netflix? Change it up! Try bouldering, go bowling, or take an adult education class together. Find activities you genuinely enjoy doing and do them as often as you can.
NEW YEAR: THE TAKEAWAY
While it’s really exciting and fun to set big goals as a new year approaches, remember that the days will still only be 24 hours long and you will still be like you on January 1 as you are right now. Forcing ourselves into change simply because we think we’re supposed to, isn’t really the best way to create lasting change.
The stuff that sticks is the stuff we’ve undertaken with grace, slowness, and the most compassion for ourselves that we can muster.