The holiday season and new year celebrations are wonderful but also often stressful. Topping it off, many feel the pressure to ring in the new year with resolutions to change things about themselves. In the new year, consider taking a different approach: see it as an opportunity to take an inspiration reset. A reset is an intentional shift away from stressors and toward inspiring refreshers that help you clear the clutter in your mind and focus on opportunities. Using a reset, you can kick off 2020 with the inspiration of renewed physical energy, positive emotions and a focused mind on your highest priorities. Try out the three-step reset process below: reflect back, give yourself a boost and make an inspiration plan for the coming year.
Step 1 – Rather than setting future goals, start with reflecting back
So often, the focus during the New Year is on setting goals for the future: The truth is, there is much to be gained from thoughtful reflection. Find quiet time and a space to capture key insights, highlights and pivotal moments from the last year. People reflect in different ways, so choose what works best for you — journaling, vision boarding, voice memo talking, looking back at your photos or speaking with a friend. Remember that negativity bias often prompts you to focus on what did not go well; while this can be useful if you think about what you learned from the experience and how it helped you grow, in order to produce inspiration you need to bring at least equal focus to your positive impact and accomplishments. Consider some of the following questions to prompt your reflection:
- What obstacles have I overcome? What strengths did I use to overcome them?
- What are the top three “moments of truth” that pushed me to learn and grow?
- What are the top three memories I am grateful for?
Step 2 – Give yourself a boost: Physical, emotional and mental
In order to be at your best and make the most of the holiday season and the new year, you need a way to recover or restore your energy and build emotional reserves. Think of the new year as an opportunity to give yourself a physical, emotional and mental recharge. Select an energy boost that will make you feel restored, energized and focused (only you know what’s right for you). Here are a few ideas:
- Take a personal day for relaxation or pampering; bring a journal and write about what you are grateful for
- Create a soothing bedtime routine, possibly including a hot bath and reading from a favorite book to bring relaxation and high-quality sleep
- Go for a walk in the woods while doing some deep breathing and conscious stress release, tensing different muscles and then letting go
- Make the most of winter weather — snowball fights with loved ones, beautiful pictures of the peace of winter, hot cocoa parties with friends
Make time for these energy boosts by scheduling them into your day or calendar. This is especially important during the holidays when things get busy. Good intentions won’t be enough — schedule and protect time for these.
Step 3 – Envision the future: Create an inspiration plan for the coming year
Imagine the coming year in terms of your inspiration journey. Start by recognizing you have the power and agency to create inspiration for yourself that starts with doing the things you need to do in order to be at your best. Think through the elements or necessary conditions for you to have your best day or moment, to keep yourself “sustainably inspired.” What inspires you? How can you build this into your life more readily and with consistency? Use the following question prompts to create your inspiration plan:
- What are the five most important things I want to make sure happen this year and why are these important to me?
- Who could help me achieve these? What request can I make for support and accountability?
- In light of these priorities, what are the habits or behavior changes that will make them happen? What existing habits could I shift or let go?
- What self-care practices will help fuel me along the way with strength, agility and resilience?
- What scares me the most about these goals? What first steps can I take to conquer that fear or resistance?
- Zooming out, how does this inspiration plan impact those around me? How does it support who I want to be in five years?
Inspiration is a most valuable resource to be managed in your life in order to make the most of the end of the year and beyond. Rather than making resolutions that often turn out to be empty promises, treat yourself to a three-step inspiration reset that will see you enjoying being at your best more often in the coming year. You’ll feel refreshed and recharged, have a plan to create the year you want and have a more positive impact on those around you. Most importantly, you’ll deserve it.