It is commonplace for the new year to come with an abundance of pressure. Pressure to evaluate the year we’re leaving, lessons we’ve learned and plan ambitiously for the year ahead. There is even pressure to tie up loose ends so their year can start with a clean slate. It’s a lot of build up for a twenty-four hour period where the only you HAVE to do, is change out the calendar!
Bettering yourself is always an admirable goal, but decide now what “better” means to you. As a being with finite energy, understanding this can help you better prioritize and plan each step to your goals. Spending more time with family, making more money and better managing your stress, are goals that may seem at odds with each other but could be tackled over time. Unfortunately taking on all three at once is likely to overwhelm you before you have a chance to make any progress.
One bite at a time. This is a pretty common pearl of wisdom now, and while I don’t advocate for elephant eating, it illustrates the key to an undertaking of any size. Break it up and get started! Studies show that effective change is done slowly over time. So picking a single night to flip the switch to a ‘new you’ is setting yourself up for disaster. Divide your goals into small changes you can stick to and take that first bite.
Build It Up
After each small incremental changes becomes a habit (a process I’m told take 3 weeks), it’s time to implement another. An increase in water intake, can lead to regular smoothies for breakfast and then to daily walks. Suddenly you are your own Insta fitness guru. What starts as a weekly budget can led to regular savings account deposits, and down the line a vacation or new car. Giving yourself time to adjust to each small change makes them more manageable and gives you time to see positive results before stepping up to the next challenge.
My suggestions for 2021 are kindness and gratitude. Be appreciative and value what you have, share what you can with others, and be as kind to people as is reasonable, because it’s likely they are going through their own battles.