It is the start of a new year and that is when a lot of us sit down and think about the goals, the resolutions, the new habits that we want to form, new selfcare routines, new skills we want to acquire, and we get so excited about having the slate wiped clean with the new year and we’re going to make all the changes. A new year, a new me, and we move forward with going to church regularly and going to the gym and eating healthier and reading on a regular basis and journaling and doing our bible studies and starting that new business and going to school to get the certificate that we need to back up the business that we’re starting and – oh whoo!
And what happens is we go full force on January, February it kind of starts to get a little overwhelming and tiring because we are doing too much, too fast, and usually somewhere around March, we crash. And all of the new goals and habits and skills just kind of fall out the window, slip through our fingers however it is you want to say and we haven’t really gotten any closer to doing these goals or resolutions in the new year, and it just kind of falls apart.
I don’t say that from a place of judgment, I say that from a place of this is how I have done things for many, many years and I had to figure out why that was happening and how I could do it differently.
Here’s the thing. Slow down, sis. Slow. It. Down. You don’t have to do all the things and all the habits and skills that you want to accomplish in the first 3 months of the year. There are 12 months in a year, 52 weeks. You’ve got a lot of time to implement a lot of things and all of them don’t have to start all at the same time right at the beginning of the year. That is a sure-fire way to fail at all of them.
The whole “new year, new me” idea – you are the same person that you were on December 31st of last year. So to think that just because the year, the cycle of the year ended, and the new year began that you are suddenly going to be capable of implementing all these things that you never really did in the past is a dissolution. And it is unfair to yourself to hold yourself to standards that you have never lived up to in the past. It’s a setup! Don’t set yourself up like that. It’s just mean and rude to yourself. All you end up doing is beating yourself up for not being the person that you just simply are not.
So, then how do you go about reaching these new years goals and setting these new habits, and implementing new selfcare routines? You slow down and you do a little bit at a time. It takes time to acquire a new habit, a new skill. Trust me, I know. This is a cycle I’ve been in for a lot of years and I finally realized why am I rushing? What is the rush? I have the entire year. And accomplishing half of my goals in an entire year is much more productive and much more important to me than trying to get it all done in the first 3 months to prove that I’m becoming this “new me” in the new year only to drop the ball on all of them later on.
So how do you slow down? How do you actually acquire the habits and make sure that you are holding on to them? Do one thing at a time. Master that thing before you move on to the next. I’m going to use the simple example of drinking more water because I can bet that a lot of us have that on our list as something we would like to do for ourselves in the new year.
Now, if you regularly drink a cup or two of water, you are not suddenly going to go from that to drinking a gallon of water a day overnight. It’s not going to happen. You’re going to mess up, you’re not going to hit that goal every day and it’s going to get frustrating. So start small and then build from there. And one of the ways to do that is to attach a new habit or a new skill to something that you already do. So if you get up in the morning, go drink a full glass of water. You’re going to get up in the morning, that is a guaranteed habit of your day, right? And then you’re going to eat a meal at least once, twice – if you’re doing really well – three times a day. Every time you have a meal, drink a glass of water with your meal and then have a glass of water with bedtime.
So you already know you’re going to get up, you’re going to eat some meals and you’re going to go to sleep at night. Now if you attach the habit of drinking water to those things, you are going to be much more likely to do it and you are going to be much more likely to make it the habit that you do and with each other. Just with that little bit, that’s 5 glasses of water. If you have an 8oz glass, you’re already drinking 40oz of water in a day and you are that much closer, one-third of the way to drinking a gallon of water a day. And if you just double that up and then add one more next thing you know within a couple of weeks, you are right at the goal that you try to get to. It’s that simple. But if you don’t take it in little bitty steps at a time and first master the 40oz, then master the 80oz and then get to the 120oz, you’re just not going to get to that goal.
So take it one little chunk at a time, master the skill that you have before you move on to the next one and I promise you, you will be that much more likely to be successful. Now the other part of this is you have to have grace. When you are learning a new skill, you have to have grace with yourself because you’re going to mess up. There’s no way you’re going to be absolutely perfect at this from the very beginning. There’s no way.
So when you mess up, don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater – that’s the saying, right? Okay, I messed up, that’s okay. We’re going to get it right tomorrow. We’re going to try again tomorrow and we’re going to just pick up right where we left off. Don’t say, “Oh I’m never going to get this right” and just get rid of the whole thing because you messed up. You are going to mess up. You are going to not hit all the goals all the time, but that is the practice. That is the practice of putting the habit in place to reach those new years goals. Messing up, getting up, and starting over again.
So slow down, sis and give yourself grace. You’ve got a lot of time to put those new skills and habits in place and it’s okay if you screw it up, if you binge eat on Saturday, just get up and do it again the next day. This is about the practice of you acquiring the habits and skills. That’s how you’re going to get it, you’ve got to practice!
So, sit down, take a look at those resolutions, pick one. Pick one to start with. Just one. Don’t overwhelm yourself. Just pick one and you can share with me below what that one thing is going to be. One thing and what are you going to do, what habit are you going to attach it to to help you get through your day.
Me. I’m trying to finish my postpartum doula certification and I am going to attach the time that I work on it every single day to my coffee time. I have coffee, I sit down and do my doula certification class. That’s how I’m going to do it. If that means I only get it for 15 minutes, that’s fine, but I’m going to do it every day. A lot of days that turns into 30 minutes or an hour as long as my children don’t interrupt me.
But that’s how I’m going to work on mine. What’s yours and how are you going to work on yours? I love you, mamas. Mwah! Have a wonderful week and once again, welcome to the new year.
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