How many of us whip up our New Year’s Resolutions after spending the week prior to New Year’s Eve stressed out and just trying to make it through the hustle, bustle and excess of the holidays?
Anyone who’s had too much eggnog or too many cookies knows exactly what I’m talking about. When we overdo it over the holidays, we can come into the New Year feeling more sluggish than motivated.
The holidays can be a great time of joy and wonder, but they can also be a time of stress and hurriedness. We’re trying to finish up projects at work, fit in family time, give the perfect gifts, and keep everything running up to our expectations. Then there’s the decorations and the food and the social obligations and the family drama.
We can become overwhelmed, uninspired and a tad…Grinchy.
It’s time to let the wonder and joy BACK into your holiday season! Instead of spending the week between Christmas and New Year’s letting your old habits die hard, spend the week getting a jumpstart on the new routines and habits you hope to aspire to and resolve that first week of January!
As you enjoy Christmas, Chanukah or just the “winter break,” give yourself some respite and moments to truly bask in the wonder and joy of the holiday season. Find quiet times to reflect and do the things you find affirming and rejuvenating. This can be as simple as reading by the fire or enjoying the lights on the tree with the kids. It can mean going through your old photos or slides with family and laughing about memories. Connect, engage, laugh, and listen to those around you.
One of the most important parts of keeping up our stamina in the winter months is to get outdoors and enjoy the brisk weather. If you’re facing a very white Christmas (as we seem to be facing here in Chicago) then don’t just stow away and hibernate!
Take walks or get yourself to the gym, practice daily meditation and reflection. Stay away from soft addictions like television, too much food and drink, or even social media. How many families will be sitting around the table this season really connecting and engaging with one another and how many will be looking at their phones?
If this sounds like your crew, ask them to check their phones at the door or make a concerted effort to get everyone involved. Express your interest and make it your goal to discover something new about each person you meet over the holidays.
This week between the holidays is a great opportunity to make some reflections. What are the things you want to put to bed with the year? Are there limiting beliefs you need to let go of? What’s been holding you back?
Take some time to journal and reflect on your social and emotional growth and your thoughts for the year. Give thanks for the wonderful experiences and learning opportunities the year has brought you and the takeaways you’ll carry forward into the upcoming year. Put to rest the old ideas that no longer serve you and look at the New Year as a fresh start and a chance to launch into your best self.
Just like diets, resolutions don’t work if they aren’t made up of lasting changes. When we see something as a temporary change, it just won’t stick. We have to adjust our thinking to embrace a new lifestyle or a new approach.
When we look at January 1st as the day we wake up anew, it puts an awful lot of pressure on January 2nd. If we drop the ball, the New Year is already a bust, so we might as well give up for the next 364 days, right?
Instead, don’t think of resolutions with an all-or-nothing mindset. Look at them with a growth mindset and think of how you can use mistakes and setbacks as another chance to build up your grit, change your coping strategies, and come back even stronger than before.
Growth and change don’t happen overnight. You won’t wake up as a brand new person on the first of the year with different yearnings and inclinations, or different beliefs and coping strategies. You will be the same person as before—growth and change take time. Yes, they’re constant, but rarely fast. Growth is a series of steady, progressive steps.
Focus on the changes you can make right now, today! Even if it’s not yet the New Year…even if it’s the middle of July! There’s no time like the present to jump in and decide to start to engage more deeply, to embrace more lovingly, and to live your life more fully.
This year, resolve to continue to grow and evolve all year long. Find ways you can stretch yourself and push your boundaries beyond your comfort zone, whether it’s in the office, among your friends, or with your family.
For more ways to live your life more fully, visit Wright Now. We offer an array of courses geared to help you learn more about yourself, your career, and your relationships. So don’t miss out on the life you want. Go for it now!
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Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.