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New Year, New Resolution: Put Yourself First

Well, here she is – 2020! We’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about how the year 2000 was 20 years ago but also, so was 1980? Just us? Okay, never mind... ANYWAY...

We’ve also been spending time thinking about the changes we want to make for the new year! Not necessarily WHAT we want to do, but HOW we want to make those changes. It’s no secret that NYE is notorious for being one of the most disappointing holidays of the year – expectations are high and reality usually comes in low. It’s like NYE is the reality part of the “Instagram vs reality” posts you see everywhere. This results in you in bed the next morning, dreading this new year that has already gotten off to a slow start. How do we put an end to this cycle?! We think the trick to having a life changing year stems from having healthy expectations and consistent practices. Here’s what we mean:

OUR MENTAL HEALTH AND THE NEW YEAR BATTLE IT OUT EVERY YEAR, BUT WHY?

Remembering what you haven’t accomplished this year

We make a big deal about celebrating the chance to start over and getting a fresh start on all those resolutions that didn’t quite come to fruition throughout the last year. You thought you were going to be 10 pounds lighter, or would’ve kicked that habit by now, but sometimes things take longer than planned. Building your expectations for the coming year might remind you of what you haven’t been able to do in previous years which could discourage you from trying again.

The need for immediate satisfaction

You have the weight of an entire year resting on your shoulders. 12 whole months stand before you, but it seems like you’re already behind on time. You suddenly feel the need to be a whole new person before the first month is even over. You start going to the gym every day, or you quit something cold turkey in order to speed up the process. You think that taking a rest, or not being able to resist a piece of cake is weak, but it’s not. Our society expects results fast. If we don’t see results as quickly as we would like to, we feel like they are never going to happen, and we give up. Pro tip: the best things in life take hard work.

Coming out of the two most mentally exhausting holidays

Thanksgiving and Christmas have eaten you up and spit you right out into this whole new place, a whole new year, a whole new decade! People are no longer eating candy and sitting around the tree — they are obsessed with what 2020 is about to bring! You’re looking around, confused, shaken up...and to be honest, a little hungover...so, what now? You've been giving and giving — giving your time, emptying your bank accounts, opening your home to others, making food for a million people, and thinking about everyone except for yourself. How are you supposed to go into a new year with the energy to make it everything you want it to be? You may have some cute new clothes from Christmas, but that’s just covering up the fact that you haven't checked in with yourself in the last 2 months.

WHAT CAN WE DO TO KEEP OUR SANITY THROUGHOUT THE YEAR, YOU ASK?

Consistency is key

Old habits die hard. Ya’ll, that’s a famous saying for a reason – it's true! If you say you’re going to go to the gym every day, your motivation will be high at the start. However, you will eventually tire yourself out, get disappointed, and go back to your old ways. You’re human, not superhuman. Trying to do everything at once is just setting yourself up for failure. The people who make the biggest differences are the ones who do little things consistently. By the time the new year comes around again, you’ll be able to see what a difference you made because you chipped away at your goal throughout the year, rather than trying to do it all at the beginning and burning yourself out.

Keep your New Year's resolutions list short

We may have as much time in a day as Beyoncé, but we don’t have the money, the resources, or the hair that she does (crying, brb) Cut yourself some slack and focus on a few things at a time. You may have 20 things on your list of resolutions, but what are the most realistic and important things? Tackle those, and then come back to that big list next year. You have more of a chance to cross off all the things on your list if you only have three versus having twenty- and nothing is more satisfying than a fully crossed off list. 

Use your resources

Unfortunately, there’s a stigma surrounding seeking help from mental health professionals, even though it can be one of the most beneficial things we can do for ourselves in the new year! We’ve been told to shove our issues under the rug as not to be a burden to others. While that’s a potential (not so great) short-term solution, you need a long-term one if you want to see changes. Seeing a therapist, counselor, or even talking things out with a friend (but remember, they are not the pros) can help you sort through emotional and mental baggage that might try to bring you down throughout the year.

Regardless of where you are in your mental health journey, here are a few online resources — even some mobile apps — that can be referenced throughout the year so you can feel balanced and productive rather than an overwhelmed puddle of dreams. We’ve all been there.

SOME NEW YEAR RESOLUTION IDEAS TO GET YOU STARTED:

1. Build a better budget — we all know you need a vacay.

2. Join a club — give yourself a reason to leave the house. Bonus points if you make new friends with similar interests!

3. Start journaling — empty your brain! You'll be able to focus much better during the day.

4. Drink more water — do we need to justify this?

5. Go to bed earlier — there's a reason they they call it "beauty sleep." 😉

Good luck and have a roaring good time in the 20's!