Newish Goals

When it comes to New Year's Resolutions, I like to have a key word that encapsulates my greatest wish. Hoping to avoid sweating the small stuff, in 2023, it's relax, or my favorite Spanish word: relajarse.

Newish Goals
Photo by Max van den Oetelaar / Unsplash

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:

  1. Keep exercise and healthy eating a priority.
  2. 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.)
  3. Challenge my brain in some way. (I'm learning how to play the guitar, and I strive to be more consistent with Duolingo.)
  4. 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?)
  5. 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.)
  6. 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.)
  7. Admit that I need help when I do. (As a control freak, this is a biggie.)
  8. Remind myself that self care is not selfish. (You really do have to take care of yourself in order to take care of others.)
  9. Be in the moment, aka lower my screen time. (Try to spend each day like it could be my last.)
  10. 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.


Natalie Kaar