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Happy New Year

Updated: Jan 4

There is something so magical about the New Year. The fresh slate. The blank space. The new planner. The checklists that are ready to be checked. The possibilities seem endless.

We exist in a culture that is obsessed with productivity and it is so easy to fall into the trap of setting resolutions and a brain-dumped list of everything we hope to accomplish in the new year. If you hop on social media you will be bombarded with targeted ads for gym memberships, coaching programs and, of course, the infamous diets and meal plans.

While goals are important; here are some ways to create sustainable plans for wellness and self improvement.

1. Create Habits

When we set resolutions we are often focusing on perfectionistic and inflexible expectations. For example, “I will work out every day”. Movement is so great for our physical and mental wellness but it requires some smaller habits to begin with. By focusing on hydrating every day or stretching 2-3 times per week; we set ourselves up for the larger goal of moving our body every day. 

2. Be Intentional

It is so easy to get caught up in the busy-ness of the world and mindlessly go through life. When we are intentional with our time we improve our self confidence and feel like we are driving our own boat instead of being driven around aimlessly. For example, before you get on social media say out loud to yourself, “I will spend 15 minutes on this”. If you want to try a timer along with it; it is a great tool to help! You can even use this before you head out to the mall. Establish your budget before you go inside. It helps to resist the impulse purchases that we often scratch our heads about later. If you go over your time or budget; it is important to take out what you learned about the experience instead of judging yourself. Maybe you learned that you were more aware of how long 15 minutes is when you are mindlessly doing something or you learned that you stick to a budget until you make it to the clearance section of the store. Build upon what you learn. 

3. Create Rituals

Routines is another word that often can trigger perfectionism and so I prefer the term ritual. Instead of focusing on the time you will wake up every day; think about the ritual to begin your day. Do you want to move your body right away in the morning or do you prefer a quiet space to reflect? Do you respond best to music that is full of deep percussion or do you need silence? 

You can use rituals for anything! I have a ritual for ending my work week. I write down what needs to be done the next week, wipe down my desk, turn off my work phone, take five minutes in quiet to remind myself I am moving from my work self to my home self. This helps to not bring work home (or to the living room) with us. 

Just like we are all unique; so is our need for personalizing our rituals. 

4. Integrate pausing

There is so much information out there about mindfulness and meditations. I prefer the concept of pausing because meditation can often be challenging when it feels like the world has 4,568 things to do. I find that women are more likely to engage in pausing than meditation because a pause feels short and meaningful instead of long and possibly stressful. However, I encourage you to increase the length of your pause as you can tolerate it. 

Rest IS productive. It helps us rejuvenate and restore energy levels. It allows us to reflect on how far we have come and the direction we hope to go. I often meet with women who, I refer to as, “overdosing” themselves on self-help and self-improvement. They are listening to all the podcasts, reading all the books and constantly focused on how to achieve “better”. Pausing allows us to regroup and be deliberate with how to spend our time. (I will also go into the Yes-Pause next month!)

5. Have FUN!

Go take pictures of beautiful places. Make a vision board. Plant a flower. Water your plants. Write a letter to your future self. Make your own bubble bath mixture. Create mood music playlists. Research your family tree. Take a nature walk without music. Choose a quiet space in your home and decorate with things you already have. 

Goals, resolutions, intentions, rituals can be enjoyable and fun. They don't have to be scary and daunting.

Our bodies and minds deeply crave mental, physical, ecological and creative stimulation. Give yourself permission to create a balanced existence! 

With gratitude, 


Other articles to consider for the New Year:

Next month: Choose Your Yes (Boundaries)


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