A long break and the prospect of a new year always seem to come at the perfect time.
Well, almost always.
The holidays can be a harsh reminder of the way you wanted the year to end, the people that are no longer in your life (*cue slow fade*), and the great things you hoped for but didn’t receive. When your current situation leaves you with disappointment rather than fulfillment, idle time can seem unproductive and undeserved, and you may be left feeling more empty than full. Even if it seems that everyone else has their new calendars and are ready to take on 2017, maybe 2016 left you discouraged and you're not feeling the same excitement and anticipation for the New Year.
If you relate, do not fret. Here are three ways to get out of the end-of-the-year funk and put yourself in a position to succeed in the New Year!
1. Get out of the “downward spiral” mindset.
I simply cannot stress enough how important it is to shut down bad thoughts immediately. Once you let a depressed/anxious/pessimistic/dejected thought in, it becomes that much easier to eventually hand over control of your thoughts to negativity. When you recognize yourself going down this path, begin to immediately speak or act against it; if you’re sad, tell yourself what there is to be happy about. If you’re lonely, remind yourself of a person you love who loves you back. If you’re anxious, actively do something that brings you peace. Train yourself to deny the thoughts that will destroy you. You are not a failure; you are not hopeless; you are not without purpose. In the words of Aibileen Clark, you is kind; you
2. Give yourself some grace.
Maybe you feel that you slacked off or didn’t make the most of your time and resources in the past year. If you relate, accept your mistakes instead of allowing guilt to take root in your heart. You shouldn’t be journeying in life from a place of shame because this implies that your self-worth comes from your achievements. If this becomes your mindset, you will find yourself constantly striving and working towards acceptance when in reality, you belong simply because you are. Nothing you do will change that. Doing something for yourself may seem like the last thing you deserve, but it’s okay to remind yourself why life is worth living. Do the crazy thing you’ve always wanted to do, even if you end up doing it alone. Start a random conversation with a stranger. Go on a solo hike. Get that random tattoo or piercing you’ve always wanted. Life is beautiful, and joy is out there; you just have to find it. Go get inspired!
3. Start small.
First, let’s all take a minute to agree to stop with petty resolutions. Instead, take the time to realistically and thoughtfully make a list of achievable goals so that you can set yourself up to succeed. As this New Year begins, work hard to produce a bunch of small victories. Not only will it train your work ethic, but it will help give you the courage and confidence to try again when a big opportunity comes around.
It can also be easy to write off the idea of resolutions and goals. While I agree the cliché of it all is (dare I say) painful, I think that everyone is actually onto something. Whether or not we want to admit it, this is the perfect opportunity to seriously assess how your methods and habits affected the outcome of your year. Now, you can get the upper hand by adjusting what you can to make sure you are putting out your very best for this new season!
Work hard, be proud of what you produce, and then let the rest simply fall into place.