New Year’s NOW!
…or ~ how to use this ‘gratefulness’ month to recreate ourselves!
Here is a Thanksgiving plan that has served me for 25 years! I look forward to it every year. Give it a go and see how it works for you…
Most of us get up every day with the intention of being our best selves. Some days are definitely better than others… We rarely have time ‘in the moment’ to assess where we may have made a different choice ~ it’s ‘after’…when we reflect. Or, when the result we hoped for went awry. The option for resolutions, in advance, is very exciting stuff.
Most of us have 3 opportunities every year to take stock and regroup: Birthday, Thanksgiving AND New Year’s. To consider THOSE imposing questions: Where am I now? Where did I think I would be in my wildest dreams? What is realistic? AND how do I get ‘there?’ Every aspect…relationships, work/school, continuing education, travel, adventures, cleaning out the closets! ~ all of it. The ‘good’ ~ and the ‘not so good.’
Sooooooo…here is what happened 25 years ago… My birthday happens to be December 31st ~ yup, New Year’s Eve (mark your calendars!!!). I always felt ‘pressure prompted’ to have New Year’s Resolutions that would benefit everyone around me…especially because I am ‘shorted’ one of the ‘3’ BIG chances a year to take inventory.
With the busy-ness of the holidays taking up so much energy… How can anyone focus on truly meaningful resolutions with all the distraction???
The proverbial lightbulb lit UP!
At Thanksgiving … the holiday that most people enjoy more than any other ~ (yes, they do…just ask this Thanksgiving when you are surrounded by loved ones) … we ALL devote thought to what we are grateful FOR. We cannot NOT, during this ‘dwelling,’ have thoughts about what is NOT going the way we’d prefer.
From the positive grateful FOR viewpoint … Make your first draft of New Year’s Resolutions based on what is working ~ and what you will intentionally keep IN your intentions.
From the ‘not so’ gratefuls… add to your first draft the ‘improvements to be considered.’ Or the stuff that should be eliminated.
That’s IT ~ for now…
NEXT: You have 5 weeks! Between Thanksgiving (when you have made your first draft) and New Year’s to PRACTICE these intentions! What a concept?!?
This completely takes the heat off sweating out a list on New Year’s Day. (BET stressing less is somewhere on everyone’s list!!! ~ You can cross that one off already!!!)
ON NEW YEAR’S DAY… A quick and objective review of what has been working ~ and what has NOT.
Congratulate yourself on the stuff that IS working…
As for the NOT’S… A simple review of whether you want to redouble your efforts ~ or, ask yourself, after 5 weeks of effort ~ are these bits worth it? You can consider shelving them for another time…or ditching them altogether!
NOW YOU ARE DONE, DONE, DONE!!! ~ until YOUR birthday, next Thanksgiving ~ or any other opportunity you create for yourself to take stock. Your stress-free outlook is already in place!
HERE ARE SOME CATEGORIES TO CONSIDER WHEN PREPARING YOUR LIST:
- Wellness ~ (overall wellness) buzz word is ‘self-care.’ Not just health, diet or fitness…wellness. Lifestyle adjustment. All on this list that follows fall into this category! Super important ~ Stress Management ~ yup, it’s everywhere! Treat yourself to a relaxing massage.
- Diet ~ (aka: FOOD!) Take it on as your nourishment ~ NOT weight control. Nothing takes the joy out of eating more than judging every morsel or feeling that you are giving something up. Don’t take OUT the foods you love…find ways to add IN some you may overlook as options to accompany the foods you love. Personally ~ I LIVE TO EAT!
- Fitness ~ Reconsider this as MOVEMENT. Move more. Period. You do not have to spend hours doing something you do not enjoy. 80% of Americans do not get recommended amounts of ‘exercise’ ~ simply because they are not attracted to the structured offerings or the environment of a gym. Find other options. Go bowling. Try archery. Make it an adventure! Fresh air. Change your walk into a destination! Walk to breakfast, lunch or dinner. Or, to meet a friend. Ring each other and start towards each other and meet in the middle.
- Mindfulness…relearn how to BREATHE. Breathing with intention is a mini-meditation. One breath at a Stop Sign; 5 at a traffic light, one between sips of your favorite coffee, tea ~ or adult beverage!!! Ahhhhhhh….
- Get organized! It IS never ending. Just 15 minutes at a clip can put a huge dent in an overwhelming task. I know I get more accomplished in 10 minutes if someone calls unexpectedly and wants to stop by ~ than if I have the whole weekend to dedicate to a housekeeping project. Set a timer ~ seriously…this works!
- Read more. NOT the news! Novels, classics…rediscover your local library. Books make amazing conversation.
- Play games! Game Night has made a huge comeback. It’s on my list already!
My research of the top New Year’s Resolutions include many of these…another one is spend less. The entire list above adds little or no expense. Bonus!
Let me know what you come up with! New ideas are exciting opportunities.
Wishing you the most bountiful, joyous and gratefully destressed THANKSGIVING ever!