There’s something about the 1st of January, that makes me feel as though everything bad that I did the day or year before doesn’t matter. It’s a clean slate. I can finally be the person I’ve always wanted to be. I have a new diary with fresh pages and this year is going to be sooooo different. Plus, everyone else is talking about New Year’s resolutions so I guess I should make some of my own? The reality? It is literally a month following a previous month. I am the same person, eating the same thing for breakfast, living in the same house, talking the same shit!
Why do we put so much pressure on ourselves to set these ridiculous goals that we intrinsically know aren’t going to be achieved? It’s like we want to put ourselves through the pain of our ego telling us “I told you so, I told you that you couldn’t do it!” Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s fantastic when people want to make positive changes and stick to them. I’d be out of a job if people didn’t. However, all this badgering of thoughts around eating better, exercising more and doing all the things, only leads us down into a spiral of anxiety and disappointment when we don’t achieve the list of 100 resolutions, come the end of January.
So, how can you still aspire to improve your life without the self-loathing and deprecation that goes with it?
Start small: If your goal is to wake up every morning at 5am to go to the gym, but you’ve never in your life woken up earlier than 7am, forget it. Start really small and aim to get up at 6.30am for 1 or 2 mornings of the week to exercise. Also pick the days later in the week, never on a Monday morning!
Be realistic: If your goal is to quit sugar, but every meal you eat is filled with the stuff, be real with yourself and commit to cutting out sugary drinks to start with. If you go cold turkey and put yourself through punishment at every meal, it won’t be long until you’re craving a large quarter pounder meal at Macca’s drive through on a Tuesday night. Sober. (Yep been there)
Be the Devil and Angel: Stop trying to label yourself as “really bad” or “really good” and just BE. We all need balance in life and too much of anything doesn’t end well. Let’s take direction from the Old El Paso taco girl in the ad and say “Porque non los dos?” Translation: Why can’t we have both? (Also, you can never have enough tacos, hard or soft)
Stop telling everyone about your resolutions: Nobody actually cares. Don’t get me wrong, people generally want you to be happy, but sometimes it can make others feel inadequate, like they HAVE to set ones for themselves. It also makes you feel worse when you don’t actually start doing them. Keep it private and surprise yourself and those around you.
Does it really matter anyway: What matters is that you are genuinely wanting to be the best version of you and live your most authentic life. What matters is feeling great while you are doing that. There is no set formula for this, only what makes you feel most alive.
If you feel like you’re struggling with what you want out of life right now and it all just seems too much, let’s have a chat. I’m a huge believer in setting ourselves up to achieve, taking small steps that accumulate into amazing results. I hold you accountable, working with you to carve out those moments in time that make life worth living. Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy New Year!