Gently Starting 2019

Straw basket with vase of flowers on top

Hi friends, welcome back to my blog and welcome to a new year! I have to say, in my life I feel like 2019 started with a really slow start. At the end of December, I was feeling very excited about the new year and I was eager to just jump into my goals and start them early. So right after Christmas, I felt that my motivation and mindset were all in the right place, and I started early!

But, like so many of us, a little over a week later my motivation started to wear down, and then minutiae of regular life took over and crowded out all my happy motivation. My huge vision for my life became hard to see through my crowded, and seemingly never-ending to do list. And it’s the small things! Cards to mail, things I need to return, cleaning, laundry, chores. It’s so easy to slip back into the old mentality of, “I can’t do that because I have do this other thing right now”

And this is the point I want to make. The old thought patterns are easy to slip into because they have become habit simply because they have been repeated so many times. It takes a lot more momentum to change those thoughts, and create a new pattern of thinking that focuses on your bigger picture, and bigger vision.

This is why you so often hear experts say to revisit your goals often, maybe even daily! The more times you repeat a thought or action, the more ingrained it becomes in your mind. And that’s true for positive OR negative ideas. This is also why I think most people fall off their new year’s resolutions within a few weeks of January 1st, they are trying to take the very hard task of changing their entire mindset overnight, and aiming for perfection.

Instead in 2019 I am taking a more gentle approach. Instead of trying to be perfect for as many days as possible and chasing the check marks in my planner, I am thinking more long term and focusing on reinforcing habits. For example, if you want to wake up and work out in the morning, instead of aiming to do that 5 days a week, be happy with working out 2-3 mornings a week, and still wake up the other 2 and journal. So you’re easing yourself into the goal, but still creating the habit of physically getting out of bed and starting your day earlier. I find that this lowers the mental hurdle and allows you to be more reasonable with yourself.

The more reasonable your expectations are the easier it will be for you to rack up wins and start to feel good about the steady progress you are making, instead of seeing things in black and white, or rather, success and failure.

Essentially, it’s about progress, not perfection! I’ve heard that phrase for years, but this is the first time I am honestly internalizing it and understanding it on a personal level!

So in short, if your 2019 got to a slower start like me, then don’t worry! You don’t need to feel bad about what you did or did not complete in the month of January. It is still the start of a fresh new year, and frankly, ANY day is a perfectly good one to begin chasing your dreams!


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