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Happy New Year!!! The beginning of a year is a time to feel like you have a fresh new start. So many times that comes with the pressure of goals, thoughts, and pressures of trying to make yourself better.
Now bettering yourself is by no means a bad thing, but the process of getting there sometimes can make the situation worse.
The world may seem to be better after the pandemic, but let’s face it, the pandemic led to many other changes and stressors which are still causing havoc, stress, and anxiety. If you feel like there is no end in sight, burnt out or exhausted a large new years resolution to fix any of it may seem daunting.
Now there is nothing bad with New Year's resolutions but you really need to ask yourself what changes are realistic and helpful without causing added stress. Do not leap for the stars if you can’t jump over a puddle yet.
It is hard under normal circumstances to stick to a New Years resolution no matter how well intended they are, and many times that leads to discouragement and disappointment. Which are you ready to handle? Are you being honest with yourself that this is something you want and is either small enough that you know you can do it or at the very least are willing to give yourself grace if it doesn't happen this year?
The stress and disappointment of a goal or intention can sometimes be counterproductive. We think the change will be great and make us more productive or happy, when really the stress of achieving it just makes matters worse.
So what can you do to start off the new year?
Well first off, think small and short term! Don’t reach for a goal that will take months first off. For example, do not say you will stop eating junk food this year. Instead, first think about how much junk food you eat in a day or week. Then try limiting it to ½ of that amount, replace one of those “junk food” items with a healthier option. Change it so that it is more than possible for you to achieve. Why make it easy? Well this will help you stick to it and feel accomplished so that you can then move on to another small and attainable change!
Before you do this though, think… will this change make your life better and you happier? Or are you just doing it because you think you should do it? If you do not actually want to change yet, that is okay! Do not pressure yourself! This is all about improving you and your life. So if you are not ready to change, do not force it, because it will only add the stress which we are trying to avoid.