Once Christmas Day has passed, many of us turn our thoughts to the new year and fresh starts. Whether you usually make resolutions for the New Year or not, here are a few ideas that may inspire you to think differently about them for the upcoming year. Setting goals and recognizing milestones helps us to view life mindfully, rather than just reacting to the “tyranny of the urgent” every day.
Probably the most important step in achieving any resolution is to really understand what your goals are. Many business and life coaches use the SMART goal-setting principles, which focus on goals which are: S – specific; M – measurable; A – achievable; R – realistic or relevant; and T – timely or tangible. Even the best intentions are no guarantee for achieving those resolutions. Perhaps the real reason is not that they’re not “keep-able” or you just don’t have enough will power. Maybe it’s simply that you’re bored with the same litany of ideas such as: eat healthier, lose weight, get more exercise, work less, etc., etc. No wonder there’s little motivation or inspiration there! Consider a different take this year – try something that is interesting, fun, or sparks your creativity.
Most people who make resolutions make them “in their head,” and don’t even take the time to write them down. One of the best ways to ensure you meet your goals is to write them down – on paper! Using paper always keeps goals in front of you. Don’t forget to track your progress – no matter how small and to reward yourself for those incremental achievements. Sharing your goals with a spouse or trusted friend can help keep you accountable and on track too.
Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing:
- Take time for yourself! Schedule it just like any other appointment. This may include learning something new that you’ve always thought sounded like fun.
- Schedule time every week to be bored. This may allow you to connect with some of your best ideas, be introspective, and let your brain work on some nagging problem.
- Seek out a person you know you disagree with and take them out to lunch. This can change your perspective and see the humanity of the other person, rather than focus on their “other-ness.” Just be conversational, curious, and listen – no hidden agenda to change their mind!
- Do something that scares you – even knowing that you will be rejected. Author Jia Jang did this for 100 days and believes it transformed his life by desensitizing him to the fear of rejection.
- Talk to a stranger every week. You might be surprised by making an unexpected connection.
- Celebrate a failure with friends. This also frees us up from the fear of failure.
- Say “yes” to everything for one month. This also stretches our comfort zone, making the unknown less scary.
- Watch 10 movies written or directed by women. Some studies show that the movies we watch (clearly linked to the visual images we create for ourselves) affect relationships, mental health, sense of identity, and even career choices.
- Buy “less than perfect” fruits and vegetables. This simple step can go a long way to reducing food waste.
- Choose just one new recipe or a healthier variation on an old favorite at least once a month.
- Think about simple ways to build a healthier lifestyle for your family. (Remember Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” campaign?) Instead of leaving the kids behind to go to the gym, think about a family walk after dinner or kicking a soccer ball around for an hour on a weekend instead of just parking in front of the TV.
- Have more fun! Take advantage of even a few minutes to add a bit of fun to your family’s life: sing silly songs in the car; dance around the room while cleaning; share a laugh or funny story together, or create your own family traditions.
Whether you decide to make New Year’s resolutions on January 1 or not, all of us at Integrity Urgent Care want to wish you the happiest and healthiest year yet. Take some time to reflect on the blessings and challenges of the past year – and then leave the past in the past. We’ll be here for you and your family in 2019! Happy New Year!
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Rubin G. Use the four tendencies to tackle your New Year’s resolutions (or not). Gretchen Rubin blog [online]. 16 Dec 2017 [accessed 27 Dec 2018]. https://gretchenrubin.com/2017/12/four-tendencies-new-years-resolutions
UrbanSitter. 5 simple New Year’s resolutions you, too, can tackle. UrbanSitter blog [online]. [accessed 27 Dec 2018]. https://blog.urbansitter.com/5-simple-new-years-resolutions-you-too-can-tackle/