How being gentle, being kind to yourself & your goals can be more effective that new year’s resolutions?
We usually want to start the New Year setting up big goals, On January first we want to get back to our fitness regime, clean up Christmas decorations, get back to work, or quit & start a new one, better relationships, better habits, new hobbies, and tackle everything together… Do you see that’s a lot to take on in just one month, so by the end of January most people have given up on those goals.
How often or for how many years we have done the same without being successful, either because we might get discouraged with the first problem or set back, and in some occasions, we get disappointed with ourselves and quit altogether. I completely agree that you should pursue what makes you happy and pursue those goals to be a better you; you just have to be realistic and gentle about it.
You see, what we might not understand is that all year round, we have been busy with life and different holidays, especially at the end of the year, where we try to squeeze in whatever we can so we can start a fresh new year . We do cleaning, decluttering, we have family gatherings, parties to go to, buy presents, cook, decorate, work, go on vacation, explore and the list can go on.
Not only is the rush from the end of the year catching up to us but also the energy. How many of you have felt the energy shift? Things are moving, we are releasing the old to adjust to the new, we might encounter these symptoms like feeling sick, some might feel vulnerable, headaches, tiredness, others might think they are going crazy because one minute they are happy and the other one they want to cry.
After all that, how can we be successful in achieving big goals? Remember goals are small steps that we need to take to reach the big goal. We want to accomplish every single one and get to the top of the mountain overnight. We sometimes give up on those goals because we don’t have the patience or the strategy to accomplish it. To achieve any goal we need to develop consistency, integrity, honesty with ourselves, self-discipline, and also we need to be gentle and kind to our body and mind.
So, why does being gentle and kind to our body and mind have to do with a goal? I think it has to do a lot with it. If you put your needs first, and when I talk about needs it means to run a body and mental check of how you feel. Have you stopped to think that after all the activity you had over the last couple of months you need time to decompress first, rest, just be, being honest of how much you can take and do? Here are a few examples of how you can achieve those goals with success.
Be kind & gentle to yourself:
Why don’t you take the first month of January to actually reevaluate, relax, catch your breath, decompress after all the rush. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, be gentle. Pat yourself on the shoulder for every win you had last year and maybe start thinking of a strategy of what you would like to do better this year. Give yourself a break, you need to rest as much as you need in order to better yourself. If you keep working and keep on going you will stress yourself out and wear yourself down. It is wise to always listen to your body.
One day at a time:
We can start by changing something daily that will create a routine. I.e. meditation, stretch, breakdown daily what is it that you want to accomplish, and instead, look at a monthly or yearly goal, have a daily goal. You will see that it can be more effective. If you have a setback get up and say: “I’ll try again tomorrow”. Don’t ever bad mouth yourself because you couldn’t do it, or because you are not getting where you want to be as fast as you want. Encourage yourself every morning and say you are doing the best you can, you got this, I love you. Give yourself rewards when you accomplish something,
One pound at a time:
Don’t set an unrealistic goal and say I want to lose 40 lbs by the end of the month, because truly that’s unhealthy and second if you don’t reach that goal you might get discouraged. Set yourself to lose 1 to 2 lbs a week. If you want to start eating healthy start slowly removing what you would like to remove i.e. If your goal is to have coffee with no sugar, then you can start by taking 1 spoon or half of the spoon off what you normally have.
One person at a time:
Let’s start with that person being you. Whether you want to change the world or make better relationship connections or help someone. We must start with ourselves, I like that saying: “we can’t pour from an empty cup”. I can’t stress enough on that subject. If we help, better, or love ourselves we are showing the universe that we value and it will deliver exactly the same.
Check how’s your progress:
By the end of each day, check how are you doing, have a chat with yourself and see what did you do that day that you accomplished and what was that something that set you back. Be honest with yourself and I like the quote where Thomas Edison said “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”. If you think some way didn’t work for you then try a different one; if you have a setback get back up and start all over again.
This will not only help you gain consistency but also will help you check your progress and see how far you have come or where you might need to change a few things. When we put our thoughts on a piece of paper they are more tangible and also help us declutter our mind, which will help us concentrate on our goal. One thing I must say is to at least start your journal with 3 things you are grateful for.
Create small goals towards the big goals:
If you want to warm up to run a 5k then start by getting 1 set of clothes, setting up the route, walk first for 5 to 10 minutes and increase that amount daily by 5 min, then start running and walking until you are able to accomplish your goal successfully. Or if you want to write a book start with 1 paragraph daily and increase the amount, research which tools you might need to publish it. Whichever goal you want to accomplish do it daily, gradually and with consistency. Ask yourself what is the realistic amount of time, work or money to put into it.
Focus on yourself:
Focus on yourself and not what everyone else is doing or what their progress might be. Remember each journey, each body, each attitude, each person is different than you, they might have a different metabolism, different body complex, different thinking, different lifestyle, they can be ahead of you or just starting whichever the case might be, just compete against yourself not with the world because you are setting yourself up for failure.
We can use these small steps to start setting up new habits to our daily routine that with each step, will give us more confidence to achieve the big goals and get rid of the all or nothing mindset.