Let me cut straight to the point – no matter how hard you try, no matter what you do, no matter how many tears fall down your face, you cannot make New Year perfect. So, if you are here for hundreds of tips on staying positive and reaching for the stars, well, you may be in for a completely different treat.
You see, I want to talk about something that bothers me a bit more this year than it usually does; something that has kept me up for few nights now and something that I simply cannot shake off myself; it has stuck to me with some sort of fiddly-diddly metaphorical glue and it stuck well. What am I talking about? You really don’t know? Come on. We’ve all been there. We’re all still there, but some of us are slightly better at denial than others.
As soon as the New Year hits, so does this sort of… longing for some unattainable perfection and it starves us to the bone. We remind ourselves of all the things that need to change and all the things we hate about ourselves, start making lists and plans, and before we realize it, we are under insane amount of pressure that we really, I mean REALLY don’t need.
And I am cracking. I am telling you.
Soon, all of this fades out and we are back to our old, boring selves; but these first few weeks can be detrimental to our overall condition. Slowly soothing back to normal takes time we often don’t have anyway – and if we are under actual pressure at the time and we cannot take a break from it, well, it may not be as easy as it sounds. Well, it may be borderline impossible.
So how do you silence the critics in your head? How do you tell yourself to calm down and take things as they are? And, finally, how do you make the New Year perfect… by keeping it low?
I was going to say: don’t plan, but, please, let’s not be naïve about that one.
New Year is a time to plan; whether one believes in this whole new slate thing or not, it is a symbol of change and start, and all things plan-y. Some of us just cannot resist making lists. It is in our nature. It makes us uneasy. It is, simply, not good enough.
So what should we do, if we do feel the need to plan our future? Well, there is only one solution to this: plan smarter. And by smarter I don’t necessarily mean what the corporate world has coined as SMART planning, no. All it takes is setting up some more reasonable and attainable goals – which will require a good dose of self-control, especially since we are so inspired to make the New Year perfect in every way.
Postpone Big Life Choices
News flash: Big Life Choices can be made in February too. Seriously. I didn’t believe it when I first heard of it, but it is definitely true. 100%. Trust me on that one.
Impulsive decision making is the number one cause of all the January drama. We are inspired, and excited, and ready to change the world… without giving it much of a thought. And we are prone to mistakes that only add up to the overall pressure that we are under at best, but can ruin our lives at the very worst.
Sure, sometimes we do have a deadline on our choices and we need to find a way to approach them with a cool head; but often it is just better to let it go and wait for a slightly less symbolic and enthusiasm-inducing time of our lives.
Take a step back
As you have probably noticed already, I am not the greatest at this whole taking a step back thing. Especially when I feel like time is running out for me.
In January time is NOT running out for me though. There are no deadlines. Nothing needs to be urgently changed. Things can follow their natural order. There is no need to rush.
Taking a step back is vital if we do want to make the New Year perfect. Or better. Or in any way bearable. No amount of planning can substitute a good night’s sleep, right? And I have never heard of someone who slept well while thinking about how their whole life is about to change and everything will be different from tomorrow onwards.
Give yourself a pat on a back
The thing is – and I am sure most of you will agree with me on this one – that in January we do tend to be overly critical to ourselves.
That is the most human way of thinking imaginable: seeing only the bad and ignoring the good. And when it comes to summing up the year we’ve just gone through, well, it is a real feast of disappointments, failures and things just not right. Don’t deny it. You cannot win with your nature.
And that is exactly why it is so important to look for the good at this time of the year. To congratulate ourselves for all the stuff we accomplished, and all the things we did change. Because no matter how dark 2016 might have been, there was some light there. Come on. Something that kept us going.
And time for the final solution – if everything else fails, just find yourself something more absorbing than self-improvement (for a while).
This craze, this obsession will pass. The first week of January can be tough, but it is doomed to turn into week 2 and then week 3, and before we notice, the gym membership stats will drop to their usual level. Sooner or later we all recover from the New Year.
So find yourself a nice TV show to binge on, get yourself some cheesy chips and try to stay sane. Just don’t pick up a new hobby. A new hobby is also something you should probably wait for till February… mostly because of how overcrowded all those classes will be till then.
Oh, it is nice to be back after a long Christmas break, isn’t it? December has been so crazy and if not for it, I think I would have cracked under all of the things I was suddenly responsible for. But since my workload is still, well, a tad too big for one human being, I am afraid bunniesaremagic will have to shift to a weekly schedule for now. Will be back on track soon, promise!