2020 has arrived! And if you’re anything like the rest of us, you’ve probably got some New Year’s motivation and maybe even a resolution or two. To be sure, making big goals around the New Year is almost a cliché, even though most of us seem to fall short of our ambitions somewhere around mid-January.
This year, why not make the most of your enthusiasm and commit to living your best life in 2020? Here are our tips for thriving in the New Year and beyond…
Make a Plan
The beginning of the year is an excellent time to look around and take stock. What is working that you’d like to keep up in the year ahead? What isn’t? Creating a vision for the future is one of the most powerful tools we have for implementing positive change in our lives. When we take time out to reflect, we can actually steer our course with more intention and ensure we are on the right track for the life we want to live. Here’s an exercise to consider: grab a few sheets of paper and try writing briefly about where you’d like to see yourself in 2020 in the following areas: relationships; health and wellness; career; and personal growth. Just jotting down a few ideals in each area can be truly motivating, and also help you clear away any junk that might be holding you back. It can also be useful to create a few visual representations of your ideals that you can put around your house for some daily motivation.
Build New Habits
Common wisdom says it takes about 30 days to form a habit. If we’ve set goals for ourselves like eating well, getting fit, or being on time for work, doing these things for a month straight almost ensures you’ll be able to stick with them beyond that. In the beginning, it might take some willpower, but soon it will become almost second nature, and require a lot less effort. Heck, you might even find yourself enjoying the gym by the end of the month! For people in recovery, learning how to live well sober often takes some work. Beginning to build new, healthy habits can seem really foreign and difficult at first. But we promise, with some dedication and a bit of willingness, you’ll find yourself knocking it out of the park in no time.
So often, we are our own worst enemies. When we are embarking on a journey of growth and trying to live in a way that is aligned with our best self, the slightest deviance can send us into a spiral of self-loathing. We tell ourselves things like “why bother?” or “I’ve never been able to do this,” and fall off the wagon almost as soon as we start.
However, countless studies have shown the powerful effects of self-compassion and positive internal dialogue. Practicing being a good friend to ourselves can be a truly transformative practice. For example, if a close friend missed her goal to meditate every morning for two weeks, we wouldn’t call her and tell her that she shouldn’t have even tried, and was never likely to succeed in the first place. No, we’d gently encourage her and maybe even remind her that the effort she put in so far has been really amazing. Talking to ourselves in similar ways offers the same kind of positive effects and is linked to greater success rates and happiness. Instead of “letting yourself off the hook” you’re actually cheering yourself on. With this framework, you’ll be way more likely to get back on the horse after a setback and actually achieve those objectives.
Whatever you dream for yourself in 2020, good luck. If one of your goals this year is to take better care of yourself, we are here to help. Scottsdale Providence offers comprehensive treatment for substance abuse and behavioral health disorders. We are here to help you create the life you really want, and can’t wait to help you succeed!