My whole theme for December is around #NewYearNewYou because, for many of us, a clean slate helps We weren’t putting forth the effort required, and wiping everything clean gives you a do-over. We have more energy and determination with a fresh start. With the new year quickly approaching, it is the perfect chance to implement a few changes. This enables you to go into the new year as a new you, giving you a leg up on those making resolutions. Consider it your test run, and you can use the momentum you build in December, coupled with the energetic resolutions of January to go further.
A big part of the new years resolution is around weight, but I want to focus more on habits. I recently shared an article on detaching yourself from outcomes that comes to play here, make the necessary health changes, but don’t tie your success to the scale.
When you start making healthy choices, you will find a shift in your confidence and happiness. I was researching for this post, and came across a Psychology Today article that covers the four major road blocks to happiness: unfulfilled expectations, keeping score, stress, and unresolved relationships. I find that these four tie nicely into all of life, and want to talk some more about having happy and healthy holidays.
I feel I have focused often, as of late, on the expectation piece, but here it is again. Release your expectations of others and of the number on the scale. I promise you, you will find yourself abundantly more happy. I am going to a cookie exchange with gluten free cookies, and I know that it is possible most of the cookies I bring home will not be able to be eaten. No expectations on others bending to my dietary restrictions.
Keeping score is interesting in this holiday season. Don’t track money others spend on you/your kids, invitations extended, instead focus on why you are making your choices. This holiday season, try budgeting your time and money. Don’t commit to 5 cookie exchanges if you don’t have the energy to bake all those cookies. What you seek, you shall find, so look for the best in others this year. I have committed to 1 cookie exchange, 1 party with friends, and 1 dinner with another family, in addition to 3 family parties. That really is my max for the month, and I am ok with that.
Stress can be super hard to avoid in December, both in personal and professional aspects. One way to combat stress is to say No more to others, which allows you to say Yes to your priorities. You can find ways to be more productive at work, maybe you need ear buds in so you aren’t as easily distracted and interrupted. You can try using a Pomadoro timer, getting up and going for a quick walk on your breaks. I like to set my work environment: clear desk, extra browser windows closed, phone out of site, productive music channel on, and essential oils diffused for focus. I also have my top 3 tasks written down. I complete those first, freeing my mind and time for the menial tasks after.
When it comes to stress, maybe instead of decreasing the stress, you need to step up your defenses. Running, walking outside, and hitting a punching bag can all be great stress relievers. Quieter activities like journaling, stretching, and meditation are equally relieving.
The biggest at the holidays is unresolved relationships. Maybe you need closure. You can write a letter and release it into the garbage. Or maybe you and your feelings need something more symbolic like tying it to a ballon, burning it, burying it, or throwing it out to sea. Perhaps you need forgiveness. When others have wronged you, the forgiveness is for you, and does not absolve them of their wrong doing. You may need to repeatedly forgive, yourself or another, until your heart an mind has truly been freed from the hurt feelings.
Last year, I spent the last 100 days focusing on Patience. I called it my Patience Project and had mini daily challenges, even created a Pinterest board of things to read. I was more patient with my kids, spouse, friends, lines at the the store, clients’ progress. That lead me to being more intentional in 2016. Intention with my time, talents, and money. I am now looking forward to 2017 and what my “word” or focus will be. What direction are you going for 2017? I’m hoping for some inspiration as I go through #NewYearNewYou habit changes this month. If you have a suggestion, or your own word, share with me in the comments. I love to see what others are focusing on in their life.