A Healthy Dose of Realism:
Get real! Skip a 2021 Resolution!
Welcome 2021! It’s tempting to believe that life will get easier as we ring in the New Year. Equally tempting is the desire to make New Year’s resolutions about how this year, things will be different. We tell ourselves that this is the year we eat better, exercise more, give up our bad habits, or hit our professional goals. If we are honest with ourselves, we know deep in our hearts that this doesn’t work and yet, year after year, many of us go through the motions. The promise of overnight change just proves too alluring. Unfortunately, this year New Year’s resolutions are likely to prove less effective than ever. Individually and collectively, this past year we have been pushed to our limits and those pressures are not going away as we turn the calendar to January 2021. Making meaningful change is going to require a different, more sustainable strategy. We feel like the Grinch pointing this out, but from our perspective, if we are honest about the continued difficulties we will face in 2021, we can better prepare to weather the New Year. Here are a few ideas for embracing realistic models of change.
Values not resolutions
Take stock of your values rather than making resolutions. Values tend to me more enduring than goals, which makes them an excellent guide for assessing past choices and deciding on future directions. While it can be easy to set aside short-term resolutions amidst the challenges of day-to-day life, our values are usually stable, and we can return to them again and again to check our progress. This means that grounding ourselves in our values has a greater chance of enduring past the first few days of January. As you make these values assessments, we suggest that you be kind to yourself. This past year offered up unprecedented challenges. Use care not to judge yourself in relation to some superficial image from social media. Rather, review your actions based on the knowledge you had at the time and the resources that were available to you. If it feels right for you, consider making a list of values you want to foster in the new year, and set small, achievable goals that move your towards those values. Avoid absolutes that start to slip into resolution territory. For example, unless you are an elite athlete you may choose, “I move my body daily,” or “I get adequate exercise” over “run a marathon”, “train for a triathlon”, or similarly impractical goal.
Take time to list what you are thankful for. Even with the challenges that we have experienced in 2020, most of us can find a list of bright spots to be grateful for. We really want you to slow down and do this exercise. Gratitude as tool is so ubiquitous it almost becomes white noise. But there is a reason that every happy, healthy, successful mentor, leader, and guru recommend focusing on gratitude and that’s because it truly is the foundation of life. Reminding yourself of the good makes it easier to keep in touch with your values and thus to sustain positive momentum towards a life in better alignment with them.
Integrative Arts – Your Move for Life Specialists
At Integrative Arts, we help you achieve your wellness goals and live the vibrant life you desire. We added this wellness series to support you on your journey and help you move from surviving to thriving. In the weeks to come, look for a series of tools, tricks, hacks, and strategies to help you build your vibrant life.
In Health and Wellness,
Integrative Arts Co-founders,
Gary & Sarah