We have officially left 2020 behind and we are happy about it. Many people take this time to establish intentions for the new year or make resolutions. We feel like we should join in and try to get our lives and focus back on track, but there's one small problem. You aren't as motivated as you feel that you should be. You're still feeling emotionally taxed from the rollercoaster ride that was 2020. You're in luck! This is a minor problem that can be fixed...or at least improved.
Let's start by putting things into perspective. Studies have found that out of the millions of people who set an intention or goal for the new year, only 8 percent actually achieve this goal. That's it. Only 8 percent!
Why do we continue to make these goals then since we don't seem to be good at actually achieving them?
The beginning of the year symbolizes a new start. We, as humans, are generally excited about embarking on a new journey. We get enjoyment out of focusing on a new task and considering the changes that we want/need to make.
This year it is especially important to make a goal. We have been inundated with drama, stress, financial strain, and sickness over the past 9 months (and counting). We all could use something to look forward to, something to help us bring out the best parts of ourselves. Many researchers have found that the majority (55%) of New Year's resolutions are health focused. What better time to try to focus on our health?!
Health is such a broad term that it could practically mean anything. This is an opportunity for all of us to dig deep and identify what would make us feel more healthy. Do you find that you need more of a separation between home life and work-from-home life? Is being home with your 6 year old all the time making you feel like you're running on fumes? Has staying up-to-date on all of the happenings in our world driven your anxiety through the roof? Questions like these are great places to start. Maybe your goal for this year can be to only watch CNN and FOX news once per week. Maybe you can set boundaries in your household that will allow you to have a little bit of a break between your responsibilities for work and your responsibilities for home.
Last year was rough and this year has already had a trying start. Making small changes to preserve your health now may help make you more resilient for whatever treasures the rest of this year holds.
But I'm emotionally drained, how do I find the energy to stay motivated?
1. Find a space for yourself and fill it with things that inspire you.
That could mean a vision board or an actual room dedicated to you. Either way, you need something that will remind you of why you are embarking on this journey. And anything that brings you peace is a plus! I'm sure that we all could use more peace right now.
2. Plan it out.
Have you ever noticed that when you don't plan your weekend out, it ends up getting planned for you anyway? People are calling you all day or someone requests your presence or needs help with something. If you need some things to be done, you have to plan for it. Carve out time that is specifically dedicated to you achieving your goal. Even blocking out 10 minutes per day to focus on your goals could give you the momentum you need to make it through the week.
3. Give yourself grace.
Life is unpredictable and even despite our best intentions, we sometimes fall short. There are weeks where Murphy's law seems to go into effect. The dishwasher breaks, the car needs a new transmission, the kids are arguing constantly, your spouse is deployed and your job suddenly needs you to work overtime everyday this week. Be kind to yourself. Maybe this week, your focus should be on decompressing. Find a quiet room, binge watch the Bridgerton's and pop some popcorn. It may be just what you need to charge your batteries for next week's surprises.
written by: Niara Eans, LMFT Associate, LPC Associate, NCC