New year, NEW YOU? YOU MARK THE START.
A week and some change to go, and before we know it, the first month of 2022 is over! January can be a weird one for many: a lot of people are resentful about returning to work after a much needed (but not quite long enough) Christmas break, most are broke from a super early December pay that doesn’t look like it’ll last the 5,869 days left before payday, and others – like me – are rearing to go, full to the brim of aspirations and resolutions for the next year!
Yes, that was me. All December I was thinking about the upcoming year, what I wanted to achieve, what needed to be done and when by. I had it all figured out in my head and I was ready to create, design and mock up every and any vision board I could – physical, digital, imaginary, you name it. Yes, that was me. The operative word being “was”. See, January 1st – January 8th were great days full of excitement and “vision”, but then the lethargy began to creep in. The excitement that escorted me out of 2021 didn’t have enough steam to make it past week one of 2022. Instead, the guilt of one week going by and me not having much to show for it grew heavier and heavier on my conscious and I felt pressure to up the ante for the following week. That pressure, paired with a new gym membership that I’d purchased on December 31st, and two diets (water only and no sugar) that I’d started from January 1st, was turning me into a ball of stress. By January 13th, I was exhausted, frustrated and fed up. None of my goals had been reached on time. I had pain in my arm that stopped me from working out and to be honest, I just wanted cake.
That’s when I realised that I’d fallen for it. I’d fallen for society’s narrative of a “fresh start”. I’d fallen into the trap of January fad diets, resolutions and “starting over”. I was another statistic; one of the 80% of people who ‘lose their resolve by February’ (but even that sounds better than being part of the smaller percentage who give up by January 19th aka “Quitter’s Day”). How sad and unhealthy is that? But! I didn’t let that get me down and neither should you.
After a lot of prep talk and reminding myself who and Whose I am – I realised that, I am in control of when I need to start again. How unhealthy is it to let a calendar dictate when I can or can’t renew my vision and better myself? I am a constant work in progress, and January is just another month of that life-long process. And how unhealthy is it to believe this journey of self-exploration and development is linear? Yes, it can feel nice to start something new at the top of the week or at the start of the day. But it’s also okay to start where you are: whether that’s midday or midweek. And there’ll be good days, there will be bad days; days of crazy acceleration and days that feel like you’re not only standing still but even taking steps back. Either way, the most important thing I realised is that any permanent and worthwhile change is only going to kick in when we’re compassionate and patient with ourselves.
So, if you like me, started the year with way too much pressure on yourself, and have already failed at a few of those early resolutions, then here is some good news. It’s okay to start over. YOU mark the start. Read on for some tips and articles on how to start over with your 2022 goals:
· Learning from mistakes (‘6 Ways to Bounce Back if Your New Year’s Goals Fail’ by Victoria Stokes)
· Having a Healthy Understanding of Productivity (Your Productivity Does Not Determine Your Self-Worth’ by John Rampton)
· Starting small! (‘Four Steps to Salvage Your Broken New Year’s Resolutions’ by J. Maureen Henderson)
· Protecting our mindset! (‘Think About What You’re Thinking About’ by Mim Abbey)
· REST! (‘The Benefits of Resting and How To Unplug in A Busy World’ by Heather Cherry)