It’s that time of year when everyone is talking about New Year’s resolutions, setting goals, and turning things around. Personally, it can be a bit overwhelming. I tend to either over do it – with unrealistic goals and fifteen different spreadsheets with 150 steps to accomplish each goal – or I throw my hands in the air and completely give up.
So I got to thinking… there has to be a better way. How can I bring a self-care approach to the new year? How can I truly set myself up for a healthy and happy new year that addresses not just my physical body but also my mind and spirit?
Below are 15 ideas I think will help us transition into the new year mindfully. Check them out and find what works for you. As always, take what you like and toss what you don’t. We’re all different. We’re all tending to different needs. We all deserve to develop a self-care plan that works for us.
Take some time to journal. Write about all the things that went really well in the past year and all the things you’d like to improve in the upcoming year. Writing can be very therapeutic and this journal is for you, so be as honest and as silly as you’d like.
Take all the positive things you wrote down – the things that went really well in the past year – and celebrate them! Treat yourself to a night out (or a night in!). Do something nice for yourself to celebrate the good.
Let It Go.
All the negativity you’ve built up in the last year, anything you wrote down that didn’t work out so well, the things that tripped you up in the last year – let them go. Tear those pages out of the journal and trash them. Clear the screen. We’re starting fresh.
In the spirit of starting fresh, declutter your house. Go through your closet, dresser, office, cabinets. Are there things you haven’t used all year? Box them up and donate them or have a year-end garage sale with friends and neighbors. If you need a little more inspiration, check out my blog post about how Decluttering Your Life.
Clean the Kitchen.
I know it’s hard to get rid of excess sugar and unhealthy food during the holidays, but now is the time to do it. Out of site, out of mind. Set yourself up for success by clearing out all the junk food and stocking up on all the goodness; fruits, veggies, etc.
Create Mindful Goals.
Choose the top three most important things you’d like to accomplish this year and make a plan to focus on them – goals, new years resolutions, intentions, whatever you want to call them. By choosing just a few, it allows you to focus on the things that are really valuable to you (and also avoid becoming overwhelmed by too many goals!)
Use the Buddy System.
Find someone to join you in your goals. Are you joining the gym this year? Find a workout buddy. Want to read more books? Find a reading partner and schedule monthly trips to the library. Everything is more fun with friends AND you are way more likely to stick with it if you don’t go it alone.
Come Up With A Plan.
Write down some how-to’s for each goal. Find a good planner, journal or notebook to track your progress. Schedule times to check-in and evaluate how you’re doing on your goals throughout the year. Adjust as necessary.
Keep An Open Mind.
Life happens! Have your goals, clarify your priorities, work hard… but be flexible and keep an open mind. Things might not always go the way you envision them – work around it, work with it. Allow life to flow as you work towards your goals.
Make Yourself A Priority.
Consider ways to integrate Self-Care into your daily routines. Taking care of yourself allows you to be your best self, to nurture others around you better, and to be more fulfilled in life. You can read about the value of Self-Care here and find some resources here.
Decide What Is NOT Important.
Just like choosing your top three priorities so you know what’s important, you need to know what you’re NOT going to focus on, too. This will help you say no to things that will distract you, hinder your progress, or muddy the waters. Clarity is important.
Love Yo’ Self.
Know that you are good just as you are. With so much emphasis on getting in shape and having the perfect body, it’s vital to create a sense of self acceptance. I have always struggled with this. For a little inspiration, you can read my story here.
Make It Fun!
No matter what your goals are, find ways to make it fun. Remember to celebrate small accomplishments along the way, be silly, and laugh (maybe even at yourself). Life is too short to not enjoy the journey.
Take A Time Out.
The holidays are fun and exciting but also busy and hectic. This can create a lot of stress that you don’t want to carry into the new year. Carve out some time when you can be quite, calm, and still. Find something relaxing and allow yourself to unwind.
Adopt A Positive Mindset.
No matter what gets thrown at you in the next year, train yourself to see the good. Squint if you have to. But find it, see it and celebrate it. Everything is better when you can see the good.
So there you have it – my self-care plan to transition into a happy, healthy new year. Hopefully this will inspire you to create your own plan; take some of these ideas and make them your own! Create a life that feels good, that is nurturing, and gratifying.
Let me know how things work for you and what you’re doing to move into the new year!