Well it’s that time of year again when New Year’s resolutions abound. If you remember my blog post (https://mindfulkalindi.com/lets-talk-new-years-resolutions-goals-vs-intentions/) this time last year, you’ll recall we talked about setting intentions instead of resolutions. Rereading what I wrote last year (past me made some great points), I found myself getting caught up in the sway of the “oh-my-gosh-what-have- I-been-doing time to set resolutions,” and thought I’d share a few (hopefully humorous) things NOT to do when you are setting your intentions for the coming year.
1) Sit down like a week before the new year hits (or you know the week after) and try to plan out your entire year all at once. Be sure to spend extra time setting lots of (un)realistic expectations (like the idea that you’ll be able to do oh about 10 million things).
2) Take all the things you want to change or new habits you want to build and be sure to try to change them all at once. Want to meditate and exercise daily, wake up earlier, read more, eat healthier, drink more water and 10 other things? Definitely change them all at once as a surefire guarantee that you’ll be able to keep up all your changes and won’t burn out.
3) If you fall short of any of your resolutions, be sure to be really hard on yourself for falling short of your totally “realistic” and manageable goals and expectations.
Jokes aside, there is a reason why gym memberships and attendance go way up in January and then die off later in the year only to pick up again around New Year. The biggest thing that I want to apply this year is to not get overwhelmed by the multitude of items on my to do lists (that’s right lists plural – am I the only person whose to do lists seem to multiply overnight lol?) or all the great habits that I want to build and just pick a few top priorities each day and really make them count. Asking myself and evaluating what do I truly need to focus on and what is just a time waster. And on the habit front, picking one thing at a time. For instance, if I want to build a habit of daily meditation, exercise, and journaling in the morning, I might choose to focus on just one of those to start so that I can get in the groove of that routine before adding another half dozen things ….
Now, of course, sometimes it can be nice to get a jumpstart, like setting myself a 10-day challenge. For instance, throughout the year, I like to do 10-day clean eating “shreds” that involve adding more good things (including sleep, meditation and exercise) and shredding the bad. In this type of 10-day challenge I am changing more than one thing at a time, but because it is only for 10 days, it is a lot more manageable than trying to change several things at once with no “end date.” What’s great is that at the end of the 10 days, I will find myself actually able to maintain many of those healthy new habits (until of course something takes me of course and the cycle begins again haha).
Revisit your goals and intentions often, and, above all else, remember that you’re human, not perfect, and be compassionate to yourself. We can only do the best we can each day and each moment and that best will be different from one day to the next depending on different external and internal factors (your energy level, external work loads and stressors, etc.).
What are some ways you like to set New Year’s intentions that you will actually stick with?