I believe new year, new you is quite overhyped. Let me explain.
So many people had these high expectations for the new year and new decade January 1st, and by Janury 20th we had blue Monday that was due to people falling off their resolutions? Why do we beat ourselves up like that? Why is January 1st any different than February 1st, or March 1st, or heck even our birthday that many people get reflective before?
Why isn’t each new day that we wake up and are alive a cause for celebration, resets, restarts or whatever else you want to do? If you didn’t get that workout in yesterday, don’t beat yourself up, do it today. You didn’t eat well yesterday? Eat better today. You forgot to do x, y or z yesterday? Well, good news! You have a whole day today to do it!
What if we fail at resolutions because we invest so much energy into these expectations instead of developing lifestyle changes to support new habits? It is the prime atmosphere for our old habits, paradigms, limited beliefs, whatever you want to call them, to take advantage of our weakness, help us settle into a pattern of sabotage and stay in our comfort zone. Why should we change? It’s worked for us this long right? But has it really?
We need to take a look at our life and really see where things aren’t going how we want them to go. When we see areas we feel uncomfortable or disappointed, it’s not cause to beat ourselves up, it’s a chance to celebrate! We have found the answer to how we’d like to change. But how isn’t enough.
We must understand why we want to change. Why is this important to us? When we can see that, (and write it down!) then, on those cold days when our bed is snuggly warm and we just want 5 more minutes of sleep, we can remember why we wanted to go to the gym or fitness class or make that healthy breakfast, and it can motivate us that much more to actually DO IT!
Our habits will do anything they can to keep us safe in our comfort zone. Our brains are wired to keep us safe. But really, that’s not where we can make any improvements, or changes. We deserve to live our best lives, not just January 1st-20th, but every day of the year.
As we sit on February 1st, Imbolc, the midpoint between the winter solstice and spring equinox, we can take time to notice that there’s more light outside, and we can internalize that and find our light inside. We can rekindle why we wanted to make changes at the beginning of the year, the new decade. We can recommit to doing just one thing today, and one thing tomorrow, and when that’s a habit, we add one more thing.
It’s not the quick fix, high expectations, sprint to the finish; it’s the regular, stable, lifestyle changes, the journey that we are on, stopping to smell the roses and seeing how far we’ve really come, and giving ourselves that credit all along the way.
The only destination we are guaranteed to reach isn’t one we’ll really be able to enjoy here on earth, so why not take the time while we have it and look around, enjoy the moment. Make those changes that will help you find more joy right here, right now. Fill yourself with the gratitude for waking up today, and all that is available for you to enjoy and experience.
Make the most of every day, not just at the finish line.