I make it a point to walk, talk, and tackle goals like there’s no tomorrow. But, sometimes even a goal-setting fiend needs some reprieve. So, in celebration of the start of a new year, I’m taking a different approach.
If you’re a little tired or don’t fancy metrics, daunting lists, and drumming up gallons of willpower, this one’s for you. And even if you’re on a super-charged goal-setting kick, you’ll find these tips refreshing. Let’s call 2017 the “year of the unresolution.” So, sit back, put that structured to-do list away, and enjoy:
Make a mental shift. Changing your outlook is a powerful thing. For example, choosing to be present, grateful, or optimistic is exactly that… a choice. And while each shift could be accompanied by a series of actions like writing thank you notes, deep-breathing, or performing acts of kindness, the first step is to make the mental shift. Then, boom. You immediately take on a brighter, more positive worldview. Action steps naturally follow.
Indulge in self-care. My resolutions are typically big goals designed to eject me from my comfort zone and into the realm of hustle and grind to reach achievement. Yes, it’s all deliciously rewarding, but can also be downright draining. Instead of only pushing towards the uncomfortable, let’s make time to move toward what feels good, too. Like napping, relaxing in nature, or sipping tea with a friend. Schedule a few self-care activities in January to start the year off taking great care of yourself.
Pare it Down. We are constantly squeezing in, adding on, and amping up. From a new smartphone app, to that extra volunteer shift, to the latest fancy tech gadget, the list goes on. While these serve to speed up and make life more efficient, they also add layers of complication. Instead, let’s swing the pendulum to the other side and simplify. Delete old apps and emails, clean out a drawer, or pass up an activity for some homebody downtime. What can you remove, scale back, or simplify that will help you breathe easier?
Turn inward. Here’s a profound question: When have you been happiest? Sit in a quiet place and ponder the answers, however big or small. Anything from attending a rock concert in high school to dipping your toes in a lake during the family’s annual summer vacation. Aim to recreate moments like those in the year ahead. After all, being happy is really what life’s about, right?
Think Bite-Sized Pieces. Last year’s resolution to count calories, drink eight glasses of water, and exercise five times a week was just too much all at once, right? Instead, let’s reevaluate what our goal really is: to create a healthier lifestyle. So, instead of applying an arsenal of metrics to your laundry list of resolutions, try focusing on one small piece. Instead of going gung-ho with clean eating and food plan, how about buying a fun healthy recipe book and cooking a few times a week? Take the stairs instead of the elevator or enjoy an evening walk after dinner.
It’s great to have a rock solid resolution list to blast into a fresh new year. But there’s something equally wonderful about simple adjustments that, when done consistently, will create positive changes for the year (and journey) ahead.