Getting through the holiday hustle and bustle can sometimes leave us feeling exhausted. We just got through the time of year when we are trying to shop for the “perfect” Christmas gift for our loved ones, juggling family visitation and expectations, while shuttling children to holiday parties and end of the year activities. And if you’re not already exhausted by this time, the New Year is here, and with it, the pressure to plan new resolutions. This can be a positive pressure; it displays a desire to work on ourselves and it motivates us to create potentially healthy goals to be a better version of ourselves. But this pressure can also be counter-intuitive if we are too hard on ourselves, and feel like we've failed our goals. Ultimately, perhaps we put too much pressure on ourselves to create resolutions and change our lifestyle to signify we are ready for change, and that for once, just once, we can set and stick to our New Year’s resolutions.
Instead of focusing on the things you want to do better and need to improve such as eating healthier, exercising more, or saving money, try focusing on the positive things that you are already doing well and setting smaller goals for 2020.
Start with making small, daily changes to your diet. Rather than feeling like you must eat a salad 3 square meals a day in order to honor your resolution of eating healthier, introduce “Meatless Monday” or “Zero Sugar Thursday” into your routine.
Instead of going to the gym every day for 1 hour and feeling guilty when you miss a day or can’t get through the allotted time, try setting a smaller goal, such as walking in your neighborhood a few times a month. Join a community yoga class where you can feel energized and inspired by others working towards a similar goal. Many yogis report feeling calmer and less anxious after class.
While you are taking better care of your body, don’t forget to care for your mind. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Take the time to practice mindfulness, read a book, or take a soothing bath. You can also make an appointment with a mental health provider who can support you on your journey.
No matter what changes you are hoping to make next year, keep in mind that setting smaller, sustainable goals while on your way to a bigger goal will have a positive impact on your life. As you celebrate your mini successes, this motivation will help propel you on your journey to your bigger goals. And if at first you don’t succeed, try again.
Sending you warm wishes and wellness for the new year.
To read our blog "Nurturing Your Family Bond," click here.