New Year, New Who?
How shifting my view on the New Year changed my life for the better.
I used to really struggle with New Year's Eve and the beginning of the New Year in general. I would put a crazy amount of pressure on myself to:
#1. Go to a fun party and get all dressed up.
#2. Come up with some ridiculous resolution that would only last approximately one week and one day (and that was if I was truly dedicated).
Resolutions actually started becoming things that made me feel bad about myself rather than feeling empowered to reach a goal.
I started beating myself up for not following through on the resolution or not accomplishing what I set out to do.
The amount of anxiety I had surrounding the New Year was a tad silly. 🤣
As I've gotten older each New Year has become something so much more than this, and I'm sure the New Year has changed for you as time has marched on.
I can't be alone in this, right?
If I jump back a few years ago, my New Year's resolutions sounded a little like this:
1. Lose ___ pounds (ugh)
2. Save ____ dollars in savings account
3. Read 1 new book each month
4. Exercise 30 minutes 5x's per week
5. Only drink water- no pop, juice, carbonated anything!
Sound familiar to anyone?
Now, don't get me wrong. These are all great resolutions, but here's the deal...
Year after year, I was feeling like a total failure around New Years. First it was the anxiety and pressure of figuring out how to celebrate on New Year's Eve, then came following through on some over the top resolution. After feeling like complete and total crap for years when the ball dropped, I decided to make a change.
Instead of focusing on the other two items mentioned above, I now focus on two other things:
#1. Spending New Years with loved ones cozied up at home instead of worrying about a party or some event to attend. Sometimes I even enjoy spending New Years Eve alone watching movies or doing whatever I want to do.
#2. I focus on just becoming a better version of myself than I was the day before whether it’s the New Year or not. I've been doing this the past several years and it hasn't failed me yet!
I try to find the simple things that bring me joy in life instead of focusing on some big, monumental resolution.
I try to stretch myself by being creative, taking classes on new topics, connecting with others, and learning more about myself on a daily basis through counseling, books/podcasts, and talking with loved ones. This has been life changing for me.
In doing this, I have somehow become more motivated, happier, less worried about what others think, and less anxious. It's been a breath of fresh air. Yeah, I still definitely have rough days, but I approach them in a much different way than I used to. Finding joy in small things and reconnecting with myself have been game changers. I find myself reacting differently than I would have a couple years ago in certain situations due to the work I have done.
A Recent Example....It's Story Time! :)
My friend Teresa, her daughter Mia, and I were looking at Christmas lights downtown when we decided to stop in a new restaurant we've been wanting to try. I thought to myself, "I don't think this place is super expensive or really fancy. We'll give it a try." BUT the second we walked up to the hostess, I got a totally different impression.
I was not dressed for some grand restaurant. I was wearing a sweater that said "What if it all works out?" lol, jeans with holes in the knees, and a pair of my favorite sneakers. Oh, and my hair was up in a messy bun (my favorite!). Teresa was dressed similarly to me. Mia was adorable as always!
Unfortunately the hostess looked us up and down and paused, and then said, ".....oh? How many?"
I immediately felt out of place.
It was just awkward and uncomfortable from the get-go. We just wanted to try a new restaurant and this is the one we stumbled into! Ugh. I started to feel my old thought patterns bubble up.
"Just leave. This is too uncomfortable."
"Ali, who do you think you are coming into this restaurant dressed like this? This place looks crazy-expensive!"
Then, once we got to the table, I sat down, took a deep breath, vented a little to Teresa, and had a good talk with myself.
"You belong anywhere you are, Ali. The look from the hostess does not impact your worth. What you're wearing doesn't impact your worth. Take a deep breath, enjoy your dang fancy meal with your best friend and her sweet baby girl. Forget about what others think and ENJOY."
This conversation was all unfolding in my head as I opened the menu that literally had NO PRICES on it. Yikes! So I thought, "Looks like they want us to play a guessing game, so we're going all out!" We ordered a yummy appetizer, delicious meals, and had a great time at that "fancy schmancy" restaurant. Our waitress ended up being lovely and we gave her a very generous tip, too. Maybe to prove a point, maybe not. No one will ever know! 😜
Now, my old self would've been mortified the whole time, but after learning to find joy in the small things and not take myself so seriously, I had a great time.
At the end of the night, I was reminded of what my sweater said, "What if it all works out?" AND. IT. DID.
Thankfully the New Year comes around once a year to remind me of the progress that I have made in this area. I am so thankful for the change in my thought patterns- it's freeing.
Do I have my dream body? Nah. Am I happily married with a baby on the way? Not yet. Am I going on extravagant trips and able to spend tons of money whenever I want? Absolutely not. However, what I do have now are the tools needed to dig myself out of a rut, the ability to use strategies to find joy no matter what the day brings, and the knowledge of who I am to face the good and the bad days.
|| After learning some different things that have worked for me, I decided to put together a guided journal that I will be releasing SOON on my next post. ||
I'm so excited to share it with all of you. The focus is on your mind, home, work, and lifestyle. Videos of me explaining how it works and the guided journal pages are all included. I've been working really hard on it, so I hope it's something that will help at least one person. If it does, that in itself is a blessing.
Thank you so much for reading!