This morning at 4:30am I started a journey with my three best friends to the most watched city in the US on December 31st, New York City. Though our eyes were sleepy, we were more than eager to reach our destination. I mean honestly what better way to ring in the New Year than with your favorite people in the Big Apple. I am currently writing to you all from my best friend’s apartment in the Lower East Side, defrosting from the chilly stroll across the city. I have been to the city before, but not during this time. I have to say there is a definitely a different feel in the brisk air today with the anticipation of the ball drop tonight. The count down to midnight is on and before we know it, the New Year and new resolutions will be here. Have you set yours yet? If not don’t worry because that is not what this post is about!
Could it be that 2014 is finally your year? Every year at this time we are bombarded with the promise of a new year and a blank slate. We all set at least 10 new years resolutions because, lets face it, one’s just not good enough and we love the “go big or go home” frame of thinking. Much to all our aspirations that we set out with and the great year deal membership that we just bought for the gym up the street, it’s week two of the new year and that new you you’ve imagined is looking further and further away. It’s not that we didn’t really want to reach all of our goals, but our lives are still equally as busy as they were in 2013 as they will be when the clock strikes midnight on December 31st. If only that clock was magical and when it struck midnight could build in even just three more hours into each day to allow more time to work on the dreams that you have for yourself. Most of the time we all know what we have to be doing in order to reach our ideal life, but don’t know quite where to start. In most cases we set out to climb Mount Everest without ever setting the small goals in between to reach the “grand finale” goal.
Part of my job as a health coach includes creating awareness about yourself and implementing simple behaviors over time to get you lasting results. In short, we work together to identify the Mount Everest in your life and then find the small steps in between to get you there. The last thing I ever want is to reach a goal and see it slowly fade away because I didn’t create new behaviors that I would continually do for the rest of my life. Or possibly even worse would be to set a goal for myself, but then not plan a map to get there, and inevitably fail in the end leaving me feeling defeated. These are simple things that can be avoided 99.9% of the time when you start with the right approach.
So since at this time of year you are being overrun with new diets, workout equipment, weight loss “all natural” supplements, the list goes on that all hold the pledge that in 2014 you will be the best you with their help, I’d like to offer something different to you. Instead of rattling off some resolutions off the top of your head, take some time to reflect. Get away from the hustle and bustle of life for a small period of time, at least 20 minutes to an hour. Depending on your geography or personal preference it could include sitting outside in a park, by a fireplace with a hot cup of tea, a coffee shop, or wherever you are able to think and reflect best.
*If you could achieve this, what would that do for you? Think of the emotions you might feel or how your life would be different when you accomplish this.
*What has gotten in the way of you reaching your goals in the past?
*What are some of your strengths?
*What are some of your weaknesses?
*Where could you use more support in your life?
*At what point in your life did you feel your best? What was going on for you during this time?
*What is something that you have always wanted to do, but made excuses as to why it was never the right time yet?
*What did 2013 teach you?
These are just a couple questions to get your mind thinking. What if instead of the typical new years resolutions, it was to repair a relationship that has gone astray? Maybe it’s to take that trip you’ve always day dreamed of at work, to sing more and louder (I swear my car performance should be nominated for a Grammy), or dance more. New Year’s resolutions in my opinion should be all about adding more joy into your life, because nowadays no matter where you look there are stressors waiting to attack you. Plus it is easy to make excuses to keep working more and more and put off play “just for now.” However, with this mentality it is rare that the playtime actually ever comes.
PLAY NOW & WORK NOW.
It is all about balance, not one extreme or the other.
Let this New Year bless you with more health and happiness than you know what to do with!