As we welcome the new year, we are filled with anticipation for what this year will bring us. New year’s resolutions packed with unrealistic goals and desires to be the best version of ourselves, because “new year, new you,” right?
Well, you don’t need to reinvent yourself each time the clock strikes midnight on December 31. Instead, let’s think about the ways you can start reconnecting with yourself to truly kick off the new year on the right foot.
Here are tips to start the new year on a positive note:
Reflect on the past year
A great way to ring in the new year is to reflect on what went right and what went wrong last year. 2020 was a tough year, but it was a year where we were forced to adapt and reevaluate our priorities. So, go ahead and make some tea or coffee, get your journal out and find a comfy quiet spot to go over these thought-provoking questions:
- Which areas of my life did I focus most of my energy on?
- What were some of the experiences that brought me the most happiness?
- What were some of my biggest struggles?
- What habits and behaviours did I do that I want to leave behind?
- What habits and behaviours did I do that I want to continue doing?
Set achievable goals
Forget about New Year’s resolutions. Instead, think about making bite-size goals that you can reflect on regularly. You don’t need a new year to come around to start setting goals for yourself. The biggest reason people fail their resolutions is that they make abstract and unachievable goals.
Take the time to break down your goals into increments that you can review each month. Remember your self-worth isn’t represented by your productivity, numbers on a scale, or how “busy” you are. The goals you set should reflect on how you’re getting in better touch with yourself. Remember to practice self-compassion!
Start caring for yourself
The biggest priority you should make in January 2021 is YOURSELF. Learn to care for yourself like you care for others and start making a habit out of it.
Write yourself a letter to open in a year. Don’t write about your goals or what you want to accomplish – write about what brings you joy and how you can create more of that for yourself this year.
Schedule time to check in with yourself regularly to see how you’re doing. Literally, schedule a meeting with yourself once a week on your calendar app or the calendar on the fridge and commit to it.
Look at your mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects. What do you need more or less of to feel good? Then, make it a priority to care for yourself.
Add spiritual practices to your daily routine
Connecting with something bigger than ourselves can help us see our circumstances through a different lens. Whether it’s religion or a spiritual connection to the universe, bonding with something larger than yourself can remove stress and provide guidance. If you’re looking to get more entuned with yourself, make mindfulness a daily habit.
A typical body scan practice (or meditation) runs through each part of the body. You pay special attention to the way each area feels. The scan usually moves systematically through the body, starting at the head all the way to the tips of your toes, but you can start and finish in whatever way your body directs you.
5 Senses Exercise
This is a quick and relatively easy exercise to bring you to a mindful state quickly. If you only have a minute or two or don’t have the time or tools to try a body scan, try this exercise.
- Notice 5 things you can see
- Notice 4 things you can feel
- Notice 3 things you can hear
- Notice 2 things you can smell
- Notice 1 thing you can taste
Go for a walk and focus on your surroundings. Remember to be present and look around for things you are grateful for. Find the beauty in the things around you that you take for granted each day.
Use positive language
Rather than focusing on what you want to change about yourself think about what you want to bring into your life to make it that much better. Using positive language is more encouraging and less overwhelming than bring ourselves down.
Positive self-talk isn’t something you just learn to do overnight, it’s an ongoing habit you have to build by first recognizing your negative thinking.
For example, instead of this: I’ve never done this before, and I’ll be bad at it. Try this: This is a wonderful opportunity for me to learn from others and grow.
Evaluate your relationships
Let’s be honest, some people can have a negative influence on our lives. And often-for whatever reason-we let them stay. This year take proactive steps to avoid and eliminate toxic relationships that take a toll on your wellbeing. Think about the people in your life that really matter to you and make an effort to show them how much you appreciate them.
New Year 2021
Rather than asking yourself, “how can I start the New Year right?” Begin asking yourself what you truly need to live a life you’re happy with. Perhaps that means meeting with a group of your peers in recovery?