We’re four days into the new year and a new decade and a lot of us are just getting ready now to head back to work, sending the kids back to school and life starts returning to normal (if there is really such a thing). Here’s to a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year to us all.
If you're like me then you're probably seeing a lot of resolutions and goals out there; this is both the blessing and curse of social media like Facebook, Instagram and even Linkedin and many seem to be a bit drastic. I’m not judging, I'm just sayin…
It’s an easy time to feel bombarded and overwhelmed with goals, resolutions, comparison, fear of missing out, feelings of being behind, feeling like you have to change, eat better, get in better shape, make more money, start fresh or doing whatever the “Thing you need to start doing better” is.
There’s this impulse and pressure to be better, stronger, faster, richer, wiser and it all needs to happen NOW.
It’s a lot. And it’s hard.
Don’t do anything drastic... Don’t blow up your career, marriage, diet, finances, family, wardrobe, anything based on one specific calendar date...Stop looking all around and instead look inside and start thinking things thru constructively, realistically and honestly. You may ultimately come to the conclusion that some of these things are the right thing to do and if and when that time is right, only you will know it.
The intent of goals and resolutions is great, however overreaching can make achieving your goals very difficult and may set you up for failure rather than success.
Keep things simple, measurable, quantifiable and achievable.
Focus on consistency and discipline, not instant gratification.
Take small steps and do the little things that will lead to big results and happiness over time rather than let downs and giving up by moving too fast.
Life moving too quickly? Make a point to be more attentive to your significant other and your family. Try scheduling a lunch date or phone free family dinner to slow down and reconnect.
Haven’t worked out in a while (or much at all) start by taking a walk around the block. Do a few bodyweight movements; try a couple of pushups, squats, situps rather than jump right into the hardest fitness class you can find.
Been an asshole. Start being nice. To one person, one instance at a time. A smile and an apology also go a long way.
Drinking too much? Start by cutting back rather than making the grandiose declaration that “I’m never drinking again” or “I’m taking the next 30 days off”.
Nutrition not on point? Extreme dieting is not the answer either. Eat one or two healthier meals per week to begin with instead of raiding your fridge and pantry and throwing out all the junk food overnight.
Money issues? Save some of it! Don’t suddenly cut off all your spending, cancel your credit cards and cut off all of your fun overnight. Make a realistic plan and stick to it.
Want to dress a little better? Create a “uniform”. You don’t have to reboot your entire wardrobe and throw out or donate every article of clothing that suddenly doesn’t “work for you anymore”.
Whatever you are working on and working towards is not going to happen overnight or as a result of drastic changes.
It is going to be a process; not a quick fix to turn your resolutions into actual habits and ultimately a lifestyle.
It’s not sexy; it’s not seven minute abs or 8 weeks to make millions. You’re going to have to do the work, devote the time, let things play out and most importantly not be too hard on yourself throughout.
There really are no shortcuts.
Here a few simple steps I take in January to try and start off on the right foot:
Set goals and intentions – I use evernote and write everything down; then I revise it 2-3x over the course of the first week of the year and lock it in.
Clear my financial plate - taxes, cc’s, tuition, cars, life/disability insurance, etc. If you can’t take care of it all at once; set as much up on auto payment plan as possible and work your plan each month.
Get my annual physical – If you’re not doing this, start.
Get my teeth cleaned – For some reason I really enjoy this.
Clear out and donate some clothes & shoes. Having a little empty closet space makes me feel good.
Update/upgrade one thing in my house. This month it’s going to be a dining table as I want to focus on more family meals and having friends over for dinner.
Get a massage, facial and/or take a recovery class. Mind and body in alignment.
Stock the fridge with good food; not perfect food.
Revisit what worked and what didn’t last year and learn from it.
There’s no silver bullet.
Not sure what to do? Where to start? Reach out.
Happy to help however I can.
Keep moving forward.