Get healthy, save money, find love, love yourself, sleep better, eat better, be better. Whew! I am sure your social media feeds are looking a lot like mine, your news channels probably reporting on the same stories right now. I appreciate the ambitions of growing and working on yourself but as Kristina, VP of BTLC, and I planned this month’s content we share some of the same challenges going into the new year. We laughed at our shared “all or nothing” syndrome (not officially a syndrome) and that “resolution” is a bad word. We chatted casually and shared some laughs as she pointed out that yes, resolution is a bad word only because of years and years of failed attempts. She was right and the proof was that one year I made a resolution to stop saying resolutions. Yikes. It got me thinking about resolutions and how to balance the all-in mind set with some smart goals. You know specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time bound – not oh I cheated my diet today so I guess I will just eat bad the rest of the week. The progress over perfection mantra continues to be my reminder when I get overwhelmed. If you’re a live your life girl follower I will be sharing more about that this month.
This year when I started my annual new year goals or, with clenched teeth – resolutions – my list grew quite long and most of my new habits were not that fun. They were the same improvements I made last year. But my excitement grew when I filled out a new calendar for the year adding reminders for birthdays, annual doctors’ appointments, vacations, and those alerts when Mercury decides to spin out of control. I even double checked how old I was going to be, so I didn’t forget like I did last year, oops.
I also could feel my anxiety grow that I had planned another year full of hopes to change only to see some of those goals go unmet. I really wanted this year to be different even if I was content with who I was and how my life has been.
I start very strong every December and just about the last day of the year I get a sense of trepidation, like today. Can I meet all my goals? Have I been unrealistic about the changes I need to make? Will this be the year I finally find my inner peace to live my life girl? Should I start another 30-day challenge to work on my health, my spirituality, my sleep, me? Should I just go back to bed and forget about the new year altogether? I’ll be honest, my Be The Light Campaign Breathing Practice Card is a little worn from overthinking and over-goaling this week. While many people might use the last week of the year to rest and reset and forget what day it is, I have been creating mini to-do lists for things I put off and put off and might put off until next year. It’s my coping mechanism – the to-do list is full of some simple tasks, some tasks I have already done and some lofty tasks I know I won’t get done. But these lists, for me, help get those thoughts out of my head and on paper, something tangible to make them real. This is where I am sure Paula would say “Give yourself grace” and I think about that now as I write these words to you.
Resolutions, goals, intentions, habits, to do lists, leave this, take that, start new, be fresh can be overwhelming. It’s fun to design a vision board to manifest your hopes and dreams and for some of us it distracts us from the real work we may need to do.
Whether vision boards or resolutions are a whim or realistic goals the truth is that when we make those visions come true or check off a goal box the power of accomplishment and pride goes unmatched.
I think of that powerful feeling when I struggle to get out of bed 30 minutes earlier to work on my inner peace. And after I complete my morning mantras, I get to check a box. Not 10 boxes, 1 box that day. And if tomorrow I need a little grace, I give myself a little grace. I get another opportunity to check the box tomorrow. I get 30 days in most months, and I only need 21 to make or break a habit. So, if I get a couple days of grace, I allow myself to miss a few boxes as long as I am making progress. My personal struggle with mental health includes being perfect and failing at that perfection. I also struggle with instant gratification – boiling water is a very real challenge for me. To help balance that all in or nothing mindset I set goals twice a year. At the beginning of January, happy new year, and on my birthday which happens to fall at the end of May, happy new birth year. For me I need to practice small measurable goals. Like checking a goal box. I also have been thinking about the big picture – this helps me understand what my heart's desire is. If I want to retire in 5 years, what boxes do I need to check this year? Breaking a large goal into smaller realistic goals can help relieve the overwhelming feelings that if I can’t accomplish it today, I should just give up.
It's a new year, don’t feel pressured to do something new. Don’t make resolutions if you feel happy or satisfied. Sometimes the pressures of the world around us force us to conform to allow us to feel normal. If you don’t want to do a new year's manifestation, don’t. If you would rather flip the pages in a magazine instead of cutting pictures out and gluing them to cardboard, then flip away baby. You don’t have to change or be better or a new version of you unless it's time. Only you can decide if you need to grow. You can be the same girl you were yesterday. Keep your head up, breathe, live your life girl, and don’t forget to give yourself some grace.
By: Jill Palm