HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
I LOVE any opportunity for a fresh start, a new perspective or do over! Time to re-evaluate the way I’ve “always” done something or untangle things that don’t work for me anymore. But New Year’s resolutions can feel overwhelming and too much to tackle by committing to a full year of changes.
My friend Ann sent me an article from CNN titled “Forget New Year’s health goals, try ‘Monday Resolutions’ instead.” It struck a nerve about the difficulty in keeping up with unruly New Year’s resolutions, suggesting setting smaller, more manageable weekly goals for ourselves instead. To be honest, I quit making New Year’s resolutions a long time ago, but I always felt like it was a missed opportunity to make desired changes in my life. Like many of us, I have extra weight I’d like to lose, I could read more, eat healthier, step up my exercise, on and on. On social media I see people talking about what their yearly resolutions will be and asking people about theirs. I get worn out just thinking about making year long commitments like that. So, with inspiration from the CNN article and chatter I hear in the media, I’ve decided to try what I’m going to call Motivation Monday .
Like the above article states, research shows setting short-term goals can be more successful in our quest for self improvement. If we can do something new and be successful for a week, why not two weeks, or three and so on. After a busy weekend spending time with family or friends, taking care of chores, errands and/or recharging our spirit, Monday is a perfect time to start. We can use the weekend to make a plan for what we want to tweak, perfect or change to start on Motivation Monday. I found this cute weekly goal sheet you can click on and print for free from Clementine Creative for Inkstruck Studio. Don’t think you need to fill up the entire sheet to feel successful, it’s best to start with small goals and build from there.
Considerations for Motivation Monday Goals:
- Gratitude letters: Yale Professor Laurie Santos teaches a popular class called “The Science of Well-Being” focusing on happiness and gratitude. Here is a clip of the interview I saw on CBS This Morning which inspired me to dig a little deeper into what she has to say. The “Gratitude Letter” is sent to someone you may not have told how grateful for them you are and thank them. Dr. Santos says the positive emotional boost you’ll feel can last a month.
- Time Affluence = Free Time: Dr. Santos also strongly suggests scheduling free time…write it down, put it on your calendar. I don’t need to tell you how important it is for you and your kids to have unscheduled time to just be (whatever this means to YOU!).
- Social Connection: As much as we need quiet time to recharge, social connection’s are also extremely important. Lately I’ve been reading and hearing (see Podcasts below) about how important it is for our emotional health to be connected to our community, know our neighbors, make eye contact and even talk to strangers. Being an introvert, this is something I REALLY need to work on. We live in a condo and I’m embarrassed to say, I know very few of the people in our building and have actually avoided getting to know them. As long as I can get some recharging time scheduled, I’m going to make more of an effort to stay connected and get to know my neighbors. BTW – social connections are NOT the same as social media. Dr. Santos describes social media as empty calories. It might taste good, but may not be as healthy as you think.
- Miscellaneous: This can be for any generic goal such as exercise, weight, or…fill in the blank… Be kind to yourself on these. It’s what I love about Motivation Monday, you slip up, you can start again in a few days, no biggie. And, how good will it feel to celebrate a successful week and motivate ourselves to continue that success into the next week?!?
One More Thing…
I’ve started listening to Podcasts. My first was Rachel Maddow with her 7 episode “Bag Man” series which was very good. She demonstrates how many similarities there are from the Nixon/Agnew era to what’s happening in politics today. Another friend, Cindy, turned me on to Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday. These are 30 +/- minutes of inspiring conversations between Oprah and someone incredible she admires. So far I’ve listened to former Catholic nun Karen Armstrong: “Steps to a Compassionate Life, Part 1 & 2” and Daniel Goleman: “Emotional Intelligence 101”. Daniel wrote the groundbreaking book “Emotional Intelligence” in 1995 along with many other books including a book with the Dalai Lama: “A Force for Good”. Karen has written many books examining religion including “A History of God”. If you have any suggestions on interesting or inspiring Podcasts please let me know about them, it’s fun when we share!
Till Next Time…
Peace & Love,