Ah yes, the year is coming to a close and you’re worried about new year’s resolutions. If you set some, you end up feeling stressed that you won’t achieve them. Not to mention the public eye-rolling at daring to change a habit on 1 January. If you don’t, you begin to panic that this is as good as it gets. As you get.
But new year’s resolutions needn’t be like this. They can be powerful tools for self-care and mindfulness. We just need to make sure we’re setting ourselves up for success. Here are a few key points to help you along the way.
Unsubscribe to things that no longer serve you
This is the only type of cancel culture that I condone – cutting things out of your life that make you feel less than. Unsubscribing from those annoying newsletters clogging up your inbox, unfollowing accounts on social media that bring up bad feelings, and clicking the delete button on a bad habit.
Take this time to become aware of what you’re allowing into your life and “consciously uncouple” yourself from things that don’t belong there. Step into the new year feeling lighter, happier, and more aware of your boundaries.
Journal your year in review
Even if you’re not a regular journal keeper, there’s nothing stopping you from doing a once-off brain dump of the year that was. It has been proven that writing down our thoughts can help us pick them apart and embark on a more mindful path. There’s no better time to do this than at the end of a year.
Suggestions for sections to focus on:
- Intentions for the year ahead (save this one for later)
Listen and observe
Once you’ve edited out the junk in your life and jotted down how your year went, let things simmer for a while. See how you’re feeling, what niggles at you from journaling, and what emotions come to the fore.
Don’t judge your findings or try to fix things – simply let things flow and observe what you find. If you can learn to notice what pops up without jumping to react, you can make better self-improvement decisions that serve how you truly feel. If we make them in the moment, they are based on fear. We are so focused on getting rid of the emotion and turmoil that we cease to think clearly. Let there be a gap between observation and reaction, and you’ll notice a much greater impact on the steps you put in place.
Refocus your attention
When you’re ready, start to make some decisions. Try to take yourself out of the equation. Confront what your intentions are for the year ahead, coupled with the things you observed in the previous step.
For example, if you’re worried about finances, you might want to set an intention to be more mindful of your money. Steps to do this might include using a budgeting app, creating a budget, and assigning yourself an accountability partner.
This way, you’re not setting goals to tick off, or shiny pennies to chase according to what’s trending. Instead, you’re taking your real-life concerns and pain points and turning them into positive ways to live your life, with actions to help you get there.
EMOTION * INTENTION * ACTION
I hope you’ve found some useful tools to help cope with this exciting yet nerve-wracking time of the year. As cringeworthy as new year’s resolutions may be, there is a reason they work. The promise of a fresh start. It gives us all hope and optimism that we can become who we truly seek to be.
Have a wonderful festive season, and here’s to a mindful year ahead.