Making The Case For Pushing Pause On New Year’s Resolutions
It’s mid-January and per usual, I am late to pledge my New Year’s Resolutions to the world (and by world, I mean my blog readers and Instagram followers). But this year, unlike in years past, my tardiness is purposeful and guilt-free. This year, I am pushing pause on the whole New Year’s Resolution/Intention/Claim Your Word for the Year thing — intentionally and without time-constraints … And I think you should join me!
Before you get all up in my DMs, asking who am I to tell you what to do, know two things:
- This is not about me telling you what to do or “giving you permission” — a phrase so many social media influencers egotistically toss around. You don’t need my permission, or theirs. Do what works for you.
- This is also not about not setting goals. Goals are good. If setting goals, making resolutions, or declaring a theme word for the year on January 1st is your jam, then go for it. You do you, boo. I’m just saying you don’t have to set them and start implementing them on January 1 if that doesn’t serve you.
The point is, you don’t have to succumb to the pressure of setting all your goals and getting started right away if you’re feeling overwhelmed, drained, or just not ready. It doesn’t make you lazy or lame. It makes you human.
As someone who lives with an autoimmune disease, January is typically a difficult month for me. The cold winter weather combined with the stress and indulgences of the holiday season often result in a special kind of flare-up for me. This year, add in the effects of a worldwide pandemic, constant divisive political discourse, and the racial injustices that directly affect people I love, and my body is revolting, screaming at me to stop and recover before jumping into anything new.
So I am hitting pause.
The 4 Rs: Rest, Recover, Recommit, Reset
Before I can take any action, I need to rest and recover. Then I can recommit to whatever resolutions I may have and reset my plans for next steps. I call this the 4 Rs and this is what I mean:
- First, to fully recover, I establish firm boundaries that serve me, without a timestamp. It could be for a week, a month, a year … Whatever it takes. I make sleep a priority and reduce my stress load as much as possible by asking for more help around the house, setting a hard stop time for my workdays, and meditating nightly (I do a simple breathing routine in bed before falling asleep).
- Once I have that on lock and feel more rested, I recommit to my larger goals by resetting my intentions through daily actions and mini goals. This helps me to build momentum and establish habits that will help me succeed. But most importantly, I try to remain flexible and give myself grace when I fall short or when another flare up comes and throws me off course … Because in the words of Oprah Winfrey, “what I know for sure” is that I will fall short and another flare up will come, but rather than give up, I hit pause until I’m ready to push forward again.
The beauty of the pause is that it makes me more mindful of the time and space I’m in right now, which makes me feel more centered and grounded. It gives me a chance to feel and listen before deciding and acting. Every day can begin a new year, not just January 1st. I get to decide, and so do you. After all, we’re grown-ass ladies who do what we want to do!
Cheers to starting your New Year — with or without resolutions — whenever the hell you want!
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