It’s the beginning of a new year.
There’s something wonderful about it.
Somehow, even though it’s “just another day” or the “day after yesterday” something about the end of one year and the beginning of a new one brings a deep breath and new hope and optimism.
It’s this opportunity to look back on the previous year, express gratitude for the blessings and joys, acknowledge the heartache and pains, and look forward to what may be.
Looking at the past year it’s easy to see the difficulties. We’ve all experienced joy, fear, frustration, hope for peace and understanding, loss, the weighty areas are like a great abyss.
Yet, in this moment, I don’t see that. I see the silver linings, the lessons learned, the growth experienced and the joy expressed. It reminds me of having my kids. So much pain and energy go into giving birth. In the moment you swear you will never do it again and “What idiot decided this was the best way to bring life forth?!?!” And after when all is said and done and you’re holding this precious life in your arms, all is forgotten, replaced by awe, and love and joy.
There are other great examples of this. The hard work going into a volunteer festival with seemingly insurmountable obstacles. And then, at the end, when all is said and done it’s so amazing you volunteer to help again the next year. Cooking a holiday meal, complete with all the trimmings, which takes all day, and then it’s gone in 20 minutes with piles of dishes to do before you can relax…. and you do it all again the next year.
I’m sure you can come up with one or two.
While I am thoroughly pleased to see the calendar switch over into a new year, saying goodbye to 2020, I am grateful for my growth and happily carry that into this new energy of possibilities.
It’s very common to set New Year’s resolutions. Setting out, in the excitement, to achieve something new, challenging, and wonderfully rewarding.
In the past, this tradition has been a cause of upset. I would set these goals which were a bit more exuberant than what I could realistically achieve believing I could “push myself” to succeed and “look how amazing that will be when I’ve done it!!” Then when I fell short of my goal I’d be down on myself. The negative self-talk would come in and I’d be left consoling myself.
I’ve learned a new way. And it’s delightfully simple.
Make every goal smaller than you think you can realistically achieve. Start easy. And when you blow past the first goal you get to feel great and have a confidence boost. Your self-worth improves and you can stretch that goal just a little. “I achieved that one so now I’m going to try for this.”
Here’s an example. Most of us have some sort of tracker on our phones which logs the distance we’ve walked. It’s been tracking you since you got the device so let’s use it to your advantage. How many daily steps did you take, on average last month? Your goal may be to take more steps per day than you did last year (on average).
A pretty simple goal could be achieved by walking to the coffee machine one extra time during the day. Or perhaps you want to do one 10 second plank, one push-up, one squat per day. If you haven’t been doing it and you start with a small goal that’s easy to achieve, you will quickly want to extend that to 20 seconds, or 2 push-ups/squats, etc.
Maybe your goal is 2 minutes of personal time. Wanna start trying to meditate? START SMALL! What can you do here and now? No extra equipment to buy, no obstacles to overcome. Just you and the tiniest shift into choosing You.
I love tea.
I love the ceremony of choosing what I’m feeling for the day. What does my body say it’s looking forward to? Chai? Sweet and Spicy? Gentle and fruity? A little agave for sweetener or straight and natural?
While I love tea and have for years, I rarely took the opportunity to indulge. Yes, it was an indulgence for me and I had blocks around enjoying the moment.
This changed when I found my tea mug. One cold day, when I decided it was perfect to slip into a moment I went to make tea. I was at a Bed and Breakfast which meant I was using whatever mug they provided and I fell in love. The way my fingers curled around the belly and the heat warmed my heart and my hands. It was the most delicious cup of tea I had experienced.
I was present.
That morning I set an intention of making tea to settle into the beauty of the morning. I chose to enjoy some healing self-care moments.
Now I look for new mugs. They always have some special message and they all feel delightful in my hands. It’s how I made the opportunity for self-care more attractive and inviting.
So, I encourage you to do the same.
What small, simple goal can you set?
And what can you do to make that goal enticing?
A new workout outfit?
Really comfy walking shoes?
Little papers taped to the bathroom mirror with mantras?
How about a new mug? 😉
I pray we all succeed at the little things and as they grow throughout the year we are able to look back and see how those little things…. were really big deals.