We are a few weeks into the new year and if you are like me, you may have set some goals for 2022. Maybe you want to move more and maybe you joined the local gym. Maybe you want to shed some COVID-19 or holiday weight so you hired a dietician. Maybe you want to connect with your mother more so you planned to call her every Sunday night. Maybe you set a goal to meditate each morning and downloaded a meditation app. It is possible that you decided you would cook more and eat at restaurants or grab take out less often. You may have planned to do “Dry January” or give up chocolate in 2022.
Whatever you are striving to do for yourself, I encourage you to keep moving forward with grace and self compassion. Starting a new workout regime can be challenging with the soreness and the fatigue that often comes along with new or extra movement. Meditating every day can seem frustrating if you have not yet seen results and do not feel increasingly calm. You planned to call your mom every Sunday night but you already missed this past Sunday. You planned to cook dinner at home but you have three work events this week that included dinner. Dry January lasted 10 days because of that glass of wine you had last night.
So we are 12 days in at the time of this post. Only 12 days in. If your new habits are not feeling like a habit or your plans have been knocked off path, I encourage you to jump right back in and keep trying.
Making changes is hard whether they are big or small. It takes time to see, feel or experience the benefit of any shift in mindset, habit or routine. It takes repetition and consistency to shift a way of doing things. It may take shifting what the goal or intention is because your original goal is no longer a priority or the path you wish to take.
Think of something you are really skilled at – tennis or golf, drawing or writing poetry, cooking or baking, organization or time management. Whatever it is, think back to when you first started. You likely didn’t return that serve over the net on the first try or hit the green in regulation on day one of your golf journey. You learned over time to be proficient at art or writing. It took time to work your way around the kitchen with ease and sharpen your chopping skills. Being organized with your space and schedule took experience to figure out what works for you.
The places in your life where you are successful did not happen in 12 days. It took weeks, months, years and maybe even decades to be highly proficient at something. Forming a new habit, shifting a limiting mindset, changing a routine or creating new intentions takes time and repetition. You didn’t wake up on January 1st as a master meditator but when you keep going and keep experiencing your time on the pillow, you will settle in and find your way to the benefits of meditation. Your goal of going to the gym four times a week fell off balance because last week you went two times; BUT that is two times more than not going at all!
If you slip up or do not reach a goal or get stuck, I encourage you to reset, refocus and keep going towards whatever it is that you want and treat yourself with compassion along the way.
You missed a call with mom on Sunday? Call her on Monday morning or send a thoughtful email.
You missed gym time because a meeting ran over? You can take time at home to stretch or go for a walk since the gym is closed.
You had a glass of wine during “Dry January?” That doesn’t mean that you quit the entire goal. Have a mocktail tonight and get back on track.
Bored of cooking all the meals at home you committed to? Find a new cook book, take an online cooking class or ask your neighborhood Facebook group for recipe suggestions.
Be kind to yourself. You are a perfectly imperfect human being navigating this crazy thing we call life and you are doing a magnificent job. You deserve kindness and who better to be kind to you than YOU!