Now that headline promises a lot. As do most of the ‘how to’ articles that explain how to make the most of the passing of time that comes with ticking over into a new year.
Apparently, there’s no better time than January to commit to a ‘new you’. The problem is that if you stuff it up you have to spend another 12 months with the ‘old’ and apparently crappy version of you.
It doesn’t have to be a new year, a new month, new day or even a new hour to get started on trying to be happier and healthier.
But given it is January, and the first day back at work for many women, I thought I’d share my best ‘how to be amazing etc etc’ below.
Accept you are who you are. Maybe you’re not the CEO, nor the marathon runner you planned to be and look very little like the perfect parent you always imagined you’d become. That’s ok. You are who you are and that’s the best bit about being you. When it comes to being ‘better’, start with what you’ve already got and set your goals from there.
But forget the ‘legacy’. This legacy is your perceived limitations — it’s the ‘I’ve always been this way, so that’s the way it is’. Accepting you are who you are doesn’t mean you have to cave in to your limitations, perceived or otherwise. Instead, it means you can recognise these limitations and move to find work-arounds. Alternatively, if the very thought of your ‘limitations legacy’ holds you back, then make a deliberate decision to move on — ‘that was then, this is now. And now matters so much more than then.’
Connect with others. There’s nothing more motivating and rewarding than building and being part of a community. These communities can provide excellent help in pursuing your goals – such as the desire to get fit, pursue a particular hobby, improve on your career etc – and can offer entertainment and fun in the process. No matter what your passion, hobby, ambition, there’s a community to help. Even if it’s merely via a group on Facebook. Seek them out, they’ll be happy to have you.
Practice daily habits. These habits are yours to decide. Don’t let someone tell you to read affirmations in front of the mirror every morning if that’s not actually your thing. Seek habits you can do on a daily basis that can help you move on from your ‘limitation legacy’, and can easily be worked into your schedule.
Forgive. Now this is extremely easy to do – as long as you can let go of the ego. It’s so much simpler to enjoy the people around you, love the person you are, and get on with the stuff you plan to do, if you can forgive others for the small things they do that annoy or even hurt you. Grudges sap energy and waste time. You don’t have to tell others you forgive them, just think it yourself and start interacting as if the slate has been wiped clean. Meanwhile, learn to forgive yourself: for that ‘limitations legacy’, for forgetting your daily habits and for realizing that sometimes, you just need to give yourself the chance to start all over again.