As the ball began to drop and friends counted down the seconds to 2014 I found myself feeling overwhelmed and almost guilty that I had not set a single goal for the New Year.
Instead of enjoying the “Happy New Year” moment, which let’s face it, is often anti-climactic anyway, I was consumed with “should” phrases, anxiety and a feeling being completely unprepared. I quickly talked myself off the inadequacy ledge and grounded myself in the reality of the moment. I mean seriously, December 31st and January 1st are essentially just like any other day. We can set goals, reflect and resolve to change at any time on any day. The pressure that precipitates goals setting on New Year’s is often the precursor to the sense of shame and failure that occurs when we don’t achieve them.
This being said, I made the bold decision to ditch the guilt and ditch the pressure of setting New Year’s goals. If you know me, you know that I reflect and resolve to grow on a daily basis. Why daily? Because through daily reflection I am always cultivating a better self, rather than the arbitrary, once a year criticism involved in setting a New Year’s Resolution.
So, I challenge all of you to ditch the goals and focus on the process…on the moments instead of the big picture.
When we regularly reflect, re-adjust and re-set we accomplish plenty.
You may find that making small, simple, day-to-day health and wellness decisions have a profound and benevolent impact on your lives. It can be as simple as choosing fruit over chips on Monday, taking 5 minutes to breathe and meditate (in whatever way you choose) on Tuesday, cooking dinner on Thursday and walking to the store on Friday. Forget food, nutrition and exercise for a moment and simply slow down and make mindful decisions to be grateful, to love, to cherish you child’s or friends laughter…i could go on….and on. When we are gentle and loving with ourselves, these small decisions feel like something we want to do instead of something we have to do and we find ourselves feeling full, strong, healthy and very alive.
When we take necessity out of it, there is no longer a concept of failure. When we stay present in the moment, love ourselves, and make decisions that feel good and are good for us, the results may really surprise you.
Katie Cavuto MS, RD