Ugh. I hate it when articles or ads (for gyms or fitness clubs) promise "New year = new you" when the new year rolls around. Personally, I rolled out of bed this morning feeling quite a lot like the same me, not so different from the night before. Today was a day off for me. I made the same choices as I would have yesterday or the week or month before. I read the paper, did some laundry, played Scrabble, made a few phone calls, and cooked and cleaned (just a little). It wasn't a bad day, as days go, but I didn't do all I meant to do--physically or emotionally. I had good intentions to pay bills, go through a pile of papers, even answer some Christmas cards, but...nope. Didn't get to the harder stuff, inside or out.
So, yeah, I am still me, alright. Yesterday's habits are today's, even though the calendar switched from 31 to 1. But, truth be told, I really do want to incorporate new habits/grow/learn/reach/stretch/better myself. What can I do to "lean into" newness, even if I'm the same old me? What small, incremental, attainable changes can I incorporate in 2016?
Here are a few ideas I have in mind. I hope they will be useful for you, too.
- Set goals...but just a few. I am making a list of measurable goals that will help me grow, personally and professionally. I've got a lot to work on, so I'm getting the feeling the list will be long. This is why I will trim my list down to just three items. Lists that are too long become discouraging and will end up in the dust bin.
- Choose one thing that lifts you up. Our family took a hike on Old Rag as the new year came to a close. Yesterday I was on a friend's farm. Both activities reminded me of how much I love being in the great outdoors. It invigorates me, calms me, and connects me to the earth. But in the day-to-day, I choose my laptop over life outside waaaaay too often (meaning pretty much every day). I am going to work at finding a way to incorporate time outdoors into my day-to-day. Let's all look for one thing that uplifts our spirit and find a way to do it more often. An uplifted you is an encouraged, nothing-is-impossible, growing you.
- The company you keep...makes a difference in your own spirit and joy. Are your closest friends encouragers? Is your success a threat or a joy to them? Pay attention to who is around you. The Bible says "a little leaven leavens the whole loaf." This can be a good thing, or a word of warning. Look for the leaven that lifts rather than poisons. You are more likely to be a lifter yourself if you are surrounded by lifters.
New year = new you? Nope, not exactly. But it's also not "New year = same old me." This year I am going for "New year = gradually growing and changing me." It's not terribly catchy but I do hope it's true. What about you?