Many people have mixed emotions about returning to a regular schedule after the holidays. It\’s common to feel a little down as January\’s cold weather and lack of sunlight, in addition to the change of routine, can make it hard to get motivated.
Many people have mixed emotions about returning to a regular schedule after the holidays. It’s common to feel a little down as January’s cold weather and lack of sunlight, in addition to the change of routine, can make it hard to get motivated.
Especially at the beginning of the New Year, as we get caught up in the momentum of wanting to set new goals, we tend to be hard on ourselves about goals we didn’t achieve last year. Refining our life plan is essential; however, the New Year is probably one of the worst times to charge after new goals and new priorities.
This time of year is full of emotions and, as a result, we tend to set emotionally based agendas rather than inspired, heart-centred plans. For just that reason, the majority of New Year’s resolutions set during January last only a few weeks. The chances of fulfilling our resolutions dramatically increase if, instead of forcing the process, we use January to prepare for a February start.
Envy and Emotional Goals
In January, the tendency to compare ourselves to others we have met during the holidays is at an all-time high. We may feel others are better off and have it easier in some way.
For example, you may now want to shed some weight so you can be thin like your sister-in-law who flew in from Montreal. You may want to shift your focus away from family toward creating more financial wealth so you have more money like the wealthy friend you met at a party in December. After visiting a neighbour’s house for Christmas dinner, you may get the itch to renovate.
Are you prepared to invest energy into making these emotionally based new projects top priority while moving previous more heart-centred projects to the bottom of the list? When we move toward goals that are true to our heart’s desire, motivation comes easily. When the goal is an emotionally based one, it’s hard to muster the energy.
Plan to Succeed
Take time to do some planning. The energy and effort it takes to follow through on the following two easy steps is less than the energy it takes to experience the anxiety and regret of not achieving your goals.
- Make a list of the things you accomplished last year. Think in terms of all your areas of life–family, health, financial, spiritual. Continue until you have at least 25 examples.
- Make a list of 25 new goals that you’d love to accomplish over the coming year. Think in terms of smaller goals such as keeping your coat closet organized as well as larger goals such as establishing a community program in your neighbourhood. As you achieve the smaller goals, record your success in a journal–it will motivate you toward your bigger goals.
Think of January as the launching pad for your year. Use January to gather the resources you’ll use to carry you through a great year.