Happy New Year to all my RunningMindBlog readers!
Can you believe it is 2018? It feels surreal and it feels fresh, but it also feels, well, sort of the same. New Years gets a lot of attention in the media as being a time to renew, restart, change, and start new habits and routines. While some of these things can be good ideas and held in good intentions, they some times just leave us feeling more overwhelmed than we already are.
Lots of people see January first as a date to begin being: better, faster, stronger, skinnier, smarter, more eco-friendly, you name it. People flock to the gyms and health clubs to try and lose weight, but studies show that these numbers of people drop off dramatically after only around three months. Why is there such a high failure rate? Maybe it is because these “resolutions” are set in the dead of winter when change is the hardest to make, and also maybe there is not a strong enough foundation behind the resolutions. For example, if someone’s resolution is to lose 15 pounds, well why? Let’s just pretend their goal is to achieve overall health and wellness. Losing weight is a side effect of a goal like “overall health.” We need to focus on a virtue or set of virtues and then, from there, create smaller, achievable goals. Maybe the person who is trying desperately to lose weight is lacking a virtue, for example, lets just use self-love. By setting an intention to cultivate more self-love by dedicating more time to taking care of oneself, weight loss can be achieved as a side effect, or smaller goal in the larger picture.
Resolutions are usually associated with bettering oneself in the immediate future and can add more stress to daily life. By setting an intention based around a virtue or set of virtues, you are helping yourself grow without putting unnecessary pressure on yourself. This 2018, I invite you to just take some time and think about which virtue/virtues you could use a little more of in your life, then from there, you can begin to form smaller, achievable goals that lead you closer to that big virtue.
This year I noticed more and more people talking about how they could be better in 2018 and it really got me thinking. I kept hearing and seeing the phrase on social media, “New Year, new me.” How about NEW YEAR SAME ME? Instead of focusing on how you could be better, why not focus on a few things that you did that were totally awesome in 2017? Why not take some time and reflect on what you want to continue doing and what worked really well? Focus on what made you feel good/inspired/empowered and how you plan to continue it in 2018. The truth is that life is like a rollercoaster. We will inevitably have ups and downs, happy times and sad times. Instead of putting so much energy into how you can be happy all the time, focus more on how you handle yourself in the down slopes of the coaster. This means it is okay to feel sad sometimes, it is an emotion that will pass, just like winter will inevitably change into spring. Sometimes just taking a few deep breaths and saying to yourself, “this too shall pass,” can make a big difference.
Let 2018 fill you up, not bring you down. Focus on the positive from 2017 and bring it into 2018, leaving all the negativity behind. When you are feeling the most overwhelmed, take time to pause and take a few, long deep breaths to reconnect to the moment.
(A little beach yoga over the holidays in Marathon, FL)
I wish everyone the very best as we emerge into a New Year and a new moon!
Go forth and conquer!