Do you ever get the blues this time of year? I sure do, and I have a feeling I’m not the only one. On January 1st, you start the year with a natural high associated with a new beginning. A restart. Whew. Finally, permission is granted to try again. Thanks New Year, I needed that!… right? You get a nice dose of self-forgiveness and a recommitment to those dusty goals. It’s a great feeling.
Then, the Christmas tree goes back into the basement and the work week starts. Yikes. Nothing has changed. The to-do list is still impressively long. The temperature is not pleasant. The scale still reads the same number (or higher — darn that fudge). The only difference is the added pressure of unrealistic self-discipline to make changes that you’ve been wanting to make for years. Who needs more pressure and guilt? So, just like that — BAM. We revert back to our comfortable ways. The new perspective was nice while it lasted, but was it ever really attainable?
Well, here are some refreshing — and FUN! — steps to help you avoid those New Year’s blues…
1. Do it Now: Identify something fun you’ve wanted to do for years and take a step towards doing it. Don’t wait until the time is “right.” (That time may never come!) Maybe learn to play an cool instrument. Plan a vacation to a destination you’ve been dying to visit. Take a painting class.
2. Re-do The ‘Do: Get a new look. It could be a new haircut or just a new style with a curling iron and some hairspray. If you’re follicly-challenged, get some new eyeglass frames or sunglasses. If your eyes are 20/20, try some new eye shadow or a new style of clothing. Feeling new on the outside can help you find new energy on the inside.
3. Do What You Love: Write a list of 10 things you love to do and start to do these things more often. If you love music, make sure it’s always on. If you love bubble baths, schedule them into your day. If you love knitting, make yourself a warm scarf.
4. Have Some Humble Pie: Learn to laugh at yourself. Pick one thing you know that you take way too seriously and make an effort to relax about it. Maybe it’s the cleanliness of your home or the guilt associated with being a parent. Life is too short to take yourself too seriously. Seriously!
5. Look Fun: Even though stress and busyness are all around us, that doesn’t mean you have to look like an Adultitis-ridden curmudgedy grown-up. Loosen up. Make your 5-year-old self proud. Buy some novelty socks or a fun stocking hat. Pick out some fun ties, earrings, and underwear. Bring the fun back into your closet.
6. Baby Steps: Regarding that dusty and guilt-ridden list of personal goals… pick one thing on the list and set a goal to accomplish one thing this week. Then, do it. If it’s a weight loss goal, try to lose one pound, not five. If it’s a de-cluttering goal, start with one closet this week. Be realistic, while still moving forward.
Photo credit: tony hassall