It’s the first month of the year and most people are posting about their New Year’s resolutions. There are plenty of articles with ideas and they’re almost all the same: work out, save more money for retirement, remove toxic friendships, eliminate processed foods, and so on.
Resolutions are made to solve ongoing problems and/or to make permanent decisions. It’s not healthy to put pressure on yourself in case “life” happens and you have to break a resolution. It can lead towards more stress if you “slip up” and break something you’ve committed to. One day you may have to stay late at work and skip the gym. One day you may have an expensive car repair and not be able to contribute towards retirement that month. Or one day you may just find yourself wanting a cheeseburger so bad that after the last bite, guilt follows.
This is just reality. Resolutions aren’t always realistic, and they can come with stress from pressure, and guilt from failure.
Goals on the other hand are about making efforts to do something. By making goals, it eliminates the pressure of having to commit to something, and eliminates the guilt if you can’t follow through with it. If you’ve already made a resolution, perhaps make it a goal to take the pressure off.
Here are three goals I’ve been working on, and maybe one will catch your eye that you’d find beneficial for yourself.
1. Not be superwoman.
I take on more than I can handle. I want to volunteer, do an internship, write more online and offline, take classes, plan a wedding and honeymoon, go on weekend trips, help friends with personal matters, and become more involved in the mental health community.
Reality sets in when I try to do everything at once and find myself in tears from being overwhelmed from the lack of time I have. My top priorities are family, yoga, work, and most importantly making sure my health is stable. Those four things are my necessities and if I try to add all the “wants” on top of those, I start to notice my exhaustion and eventually break down.
A week ago I noticed that I had too much on my plate and started to become overwhelmed. This came with a reminder from my mother and I decided to take her suggestion and subtract some things I was trying to do all at once. Within a day of making that decision, my stress level drastically decreased.
I’ll continue to learn to recognize my limits, and not feel pressured to do everything at once. If you are finding yourself in the same kind of situation, my suggestion is to make a list of your priorities, then see if you have the time to add anything onto your life without overwhelming yourself.
2. Make a couple new playlists.
“People haven't always been there for me but music always has.” - Taylor Swift. I absolutely agree with this statement. Music is very therapeutic. I haven’t updated my music in a while, but I’ll wait until something new catches my ear. For those that haven’t made a couple playlists, I suggest making these: a calming playlist when things get stressful, a white-noise playlist when you’re having trouble falling asleep, and an upbeat playlist you can play anytime. A great album is Morning Phase by Beck. I highly suggest listening to the entire album, and listening to it when you need a calming moment.
3. Continue Yoga.
I thought it wasn’t going to do much for me except help with my flexibility and strength, but I was surprised at how helpful it was for my mentality. This gave me my “alone-time” in a relaxing environment. I found that over time and practice, it helped me turn my thoughts off and be present in the moment. This has increased my physical and mental health drastically. Since I have seen such a drastic change, I plan to continue and hopefully try more advanced classes. Although it is more expensive to go to an actual yoga studio rather than a gym, the environment of a studio is worth the cost and they’ll offer more of a variety of classes. If you’re unable to afford to go to a studio, make your own. In a quiet room light candles and dim the lights. You’ll be able to watch free yoga courses online.
Again, these are just my goals, but I would highly recommend them for anyone. I truly believe these will contribute to a healthy mind, and a healthier body.
Read the rest of Alana's posts here.