It's a new year. Happy 2023! For many, the calendar turn to January means time to craft a list of resolutions. There's just something exciting about the fresh start that a new year brings, or maybe it's a sneaky way for us to deal with the lack of daylight come winter. If we feel too pressured, though, our well-intentioned resolutions are quickly broken. I've realized over the years that for me to stick to my goals, there a few things that I must do.
First, it helps me to choose a keyword or phrase that encapsulates my main overarching goal. My chief goal for 2023 is to avoid sweating the small stuff, which brings me to my favorite Spanish word: relajarse, to relax.
Second, I think of small things I can do each day to accomplish my goal.
Some things I can do each day to avoid stress:
- Keep exercise and healthy eating a priority.
- Stick to a consistent sleep schedule as much as possible. (This is a biggie. If I can sleep in, I almost always hit snooze, but I pay for it when I do.)
- Challenge my brain in some way. (I'm learning how to play the guitar, and I strive to be more consistent with Duolingo.)
- Hold connecting with family and friends as a top priority. (Isn't it amazing how a conversation with someone you love can turn your day around in no time?)
- Read daily devotions. (I really like the YouVersion app. I get their daily devotionals on my Apple Watch and phone, and it's amazing how many times the messages change my perspective.)
- Help others and avoid judging. (It really is impossible to know exactly what others are going through. A little compassion can go a long way.)
- Admit that I need help when I do. (As a control freak, this is a biggie.)
- Remind myself that self care is not selfish. (You really do have to take care of yourself in order to take care of others.)
- Be in the moment, aka lower my screen time. (Try to spend each day like it could be my last.)
- On the hardest days, remind myself of making it through really tough times in the past. I often think of that awesome Winston Churchill quote:
"If you're going through hell, keep going."
Third, I tell people my goal to hold myself accountable and keep myself honest. (It actually helps me if there are doubters. Exhibit A: January 1, 2023 marked 5 years of sobriety for me.)
How about you? What helps you stay on track?
Whatever your goals are for the new year, I hope you enjoy reaching them, remembering to give yourself some grace along the way. We all have wacko days. It's about progress not perfection.