The end of the year is as depressing as it is motivational.
Sometimes we end the year thinking "well, another year, and I haven't X, Y or Z." But, on the other hand, we're also thinking to ourselves, "next year I'm planning on X, Y and Z!" So it's a double-edge sword. We're upset about what we haven't accomplished and are looking forward to what we have yet to accomplish.
That's kind of confusing in a mentally exhausting, I hate-love myself kind of way, right?
You betcha! But as much as it is stressful, awful and discouraging, it's also the most reflective, eye-opening, relaxing, rejuvenating, best time of the year ever! People, gurus, parents, are probably always reminding you to take pride in your little successes, also known as "lil' victories."
And that's pretty much the first plan of action. Though our first thoughts are what I just typed above... "I hate-love this time of year, I suck, but I'm great. AGHHH!" Just quiet your mind!
One of my yoga teachers once told me: "When you start to think, remind yourself... it's just thinking."
Why that was one of the most influential things anyone has ever said to me, I'll never know. But instead of over-analyzing all of my thoughts from there-on-out, like I had done for years and years, I now stop myself and say "Shea. This is only thinking."
And then suddenly, my mind transforms into this whole "your bad thoughts right now aren't even real or legitimate."
So anyways, now that the year is ending, you're probably going to be doing a lot of thinking, but remind yourself, "it's just thinking," and remember to celebrate your little victories over 2016, no matter how small.
Improve an old resume? Heck yeah you did.
Reconnect with an old friend? Bam. Happy hours.
Enroll in a new class? Boxing? Yoga? Hello, awesome, fit self.
For the new year of 2017, don't make your to-do list full of "things I didn't do last year that I planned to do."
Instead, take a moment to list out everything that you have done in 2016. And once you're done your list (remember, nothing is too small), add on to those things, if applicable, to complete in 2017.
For example, one of mine is: Went to Trader Joes for the first time. Loved it.
I didn't plan out in the beginning of 2016 to go to a Trader Joes, but at the end of the year, it's a little success for me! I've always wanted to go and finally went.
In 2017, my plan is: Start shopping at Trader Joes regularly. Eat healthier and support local.
If that first example was lame to you, here's another: Started studying for my Personal Training Certification.
Goal in 2017 to add on: take the test and pass!
I think adding on to things you've completed in 2016, or started to do, make accomplishing tasks in 2017 much less intimidating. Think of correlating your 2016 actions with your 2017 want-to-dos.
If your 2016 action was: bought a yoga mat.
Make 2017: pick up a regular yoga practice.
This is how I'm attacking the new year, so if you're down with it, then I hope it works for you, too! Live in the present and take things step by step. Make tasks accomplishable, by realizing the steps you've already taken towards those tasks.
Even if your goal is as far-fetched as moving to Texas and starting a pit beef restaurant, maybe you've taste-tested three different BBQ sauces this year or... visited a Texas Roadhouse. No success is too small! Now go take over the world!