Well, hello, 2023!
How the heck did you get here? I must still be wandering around in a post-pandemic fog. Are we even in post-pandemic yet? Who knows, but I do know that life has felt a little different these last few years.
I also know what “ringing in the new year” means to most of us. It means the pressure is on. It’s time to set goals, hit the gym every day, lose 20 pounds, keep in touch with people you love, connect with new people, start that business, get more organized and be completely Zen while doing it all.
I don’t know about you, but as every year came to an end, I would spend an insane amount of time searching for the best journals and planners, buying ten of them because, damn it, this was going to be my year, and I’m going to change my ways and do it all!
I would think hard about picking my “word of the year” and be ready to get my nose in the grind come January 1st.
Every year I told myself the same thing, “Go you! This is your year”!
In January 2020, my word of the year was "Clarity.” In some ways, I did find clarity but not how I thought it would be.
In 2020 it didn’t matter what your word was, we all got flipped upside down. It makes me chuckle now because I’m going into 2023 and still holding onto that word and trying to find my “clarity.”
The new year can be an incredible time to clear the clutter out of your head and focus on new exciting things. A new year feels a bit like getting a pass or a clean slate. A time when we can forgive ourselves for everything we didn’t get done or start last year. We allow ourselves to wipe everything off last year's to-do list and start over.
The months tick by, and by March, you’ve fizzled out and can’t remember the goals you set while your brain was clouded with celebration and making packs with your bestie to do whatever it takes this year to be different and get it all done.
Sound familiar? Maybe you’ve been there? I most certainly have many times.
Here's what happens next. Every day you don’t eat right, go to the gym, put off starting that new business, sleep late, and rush around in the morning, you feel like here it is, another year of letting yourself down.
Another year you didn’t do what you were supposed to do. So instead of spending the new year finding your Zen without realizing it, you mentally start beating the crap out of yourself.
The voices in your head start chatting away. “What’s wrong with me?” Why can’t I follow through?” Why don’t I ever reach my goals?” “Why don’t I keep going?”
Then you might do a little deeper chatter, “I knew I wouldn’t do it; I never do.” I’m not smart enough anyway.” “So and so is doing the same thing, and they’re doing it better than me.”
“I’m stupid, and I can't figure out how to do it,” and so on. It becomes a vicious new year cycle, and you feel like shit.
You throw everything out the window, the eating, the exercise, the business. You find yourself on edge, angry, unhappy, and a little bitchy. You start complaining about your life and how nothing ever works out for you.
You spend hours scrolling through social media, comparing everyone's life to yours. You wonder how these people got to be so perfect and have it all together. How the heck did they figure life out?
As someone who spends a reasonable amount of time on social media for business and mindless scrolling, I’m here to tell you that nobody has it all together or all figured out.
So how do we go from this crazy high of setting all these great intentions in the new year to being miserable by June?
The problem isn’t setting goals for the new year. It’s in setting unrealistic goals that only set you up for failure.
Goal setting is about picking a few important and doable goals any time of the year instead of setting a hundred unattainable goals on one day at the beginning of every year.
That method is a setup for failure before you get started.
This new year I want you to cut yourself some slack. Why? Because we’re all messy, we’re all imperfect, and we are all trying to figure it out.
EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US.
As much as you think you’re supposed to have life all figured out, you don’t and never will. Because if you think you’ve got it all figured out, you’ve stopped learning and growing as a human.
Some of us need to pick a goal in the New Year; if that’s you, go for it! But please be realistic and kind to yourself.
Pick goals you enjoy and that fit into your life and scare you a little bit. Don’t pick something based on what other people think or say you should do, and don’t set yourself up for failure by trying to do a million things you don’t have time for and maybe don’t even like doing.
The most important part of setting and achieving goals is showing up for yourself and staying true to the things you love, want, and need. It’s about showing up even when it gets hard (and it will).
If you have one day a week to work on your goals and get stuff done, do your best to block some time that day to work on those goals. Fully understanding that life can and will get in the way and could set you back. That’s the reality we all live in. Things get in the way.
When you see people online selling courses on how to get organized or talking about what’s holding you back from success is not having an early morning routine because that’s what successful people do. They preach to us that these are things we have to do in order to find success in our life.
(Side note, success looks different for everyone, and most of the time, doesn’t revolve around money….I’ll save that conversation for the next blog!)
But you try it anyway, the so-called things successful people do. You spend weeks waking up at the butt crack of dawn trying to get it all done. You hate it, and you know the best time of the day for you to get work done or to work out is at 3 in the afternoon. It’s no surprise that a 4am morning routine doesn’t stick because it doesn’t align with who you are and what makes you happy.
And because you can’t get yourself to wake up at 4 in the morning to work out, you feel like something is wrong with you. You’ll never be successful because you can’t do “what successful people do,” so you feel like a failure. You feel less than everyone because the online world tells you that what works for you isn’t the right way.
We are all different and are all wired differently. Some of us at certain times in our life have trouble following through and sticking to goals more than others. Maybe you procrastinate or get lost in social. I have zero judgment, but I do believe we do these things because we have deeper unresolved issues that are getting in the way and holding us back from reaching our goals and dreams.
Our traumas, our past, our stories, and maybe some negative experiences can be major roadblocks holding us back from the life we want and deserve. You may not realize it, but subconsciously you might say things to yourself like “I’m not good enough,” “I’m not worthy of success,” “Nobody likes me anyway,” “I am unlovable,” “I am broken.”
The stuff we say to ourselves isn’t anything we would say to someone else sharing their dreams and aspirations with us.
So, why would we say those things? Because there’s still inner work and healing left to do.
(Again, another blog for another day)
This New Year, do me a favor and start by setting one goal and one goal only……..to get to know yourself better.
Spend time alone to be still and quiet with yourself. Let your mind slow down. Find out what makes you tick and think of things and times that genuinely make you happy.
Knowing what YOU need and what makes YOU happy will help you find things that excite you and feel right. Taking time to get quiet will help you reach your goals, get work done, and find time to live the life you want. Not how your neighbor, friends, family, co-workers, mentors or social media says you need to live it.
A little note for my overachievers (more for myself): It’s okay not to have a million irons in the fire. I know it’s hard and doesn’t feel productive without a ton of things going on, but
I need you to trust me. Getting organized on the inside will help you prioritize what’s important on the outside and will help you stay true to yourself, your needs and your wants.
So, enough of this New Year, new you pressure.
Enough of setting yourself up for failure every new year that comes along.
Enough of trying to live up to the expectations of so-called gurus on social media telling you what you should and shouldn’t do.
Enough of living a life of comparison.
Enough of the mental beatings.
You are beautiful just the way you are, a work in progress like the rest of us.
Keep evolving and growing as humans do, and you know what? That doesn’t need to happen on January 1st; . Growing and evolving can happen in March, July, heck, even December. There isn’t a special roadmap or rules to follow you just be you.
Happy New Year, my friends; Every year is your year - Kim Russell