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  • Writer's pictureArchuleta A. Chisolm

First Monday of The New Year

You know how the game goes. Every year, we do it.

We set a few dozen goals focused on how great the New Year. We say things like, “This is gonna be my year – I’m gonna pay off debt, get in shape, and start that business.”

We buy new planners and begin to schedule our daily plans.

We create a plan for how we’re going to crush every single goal.

Don’t get me wrong – setting goals is important and studies show just the act of goal-setting can boost self-confidence and motivation.

This is why the first Monday of a new year brings about a breath of fresh air. We feel strengthened with a renewed premise of change. We feel determined to reach intended goals in a most unstoppable way.

It’s kind of the same feeling you had growing up on the first day of school. So excited and ready to tackle the new school year – you had all the feels to do your best and make it your year.

By mid-February, 80 percent of New Year’s goals fail. Oftentimes, it’s because when we envisioned ourselves hitting those goals, we only considered the high points. We focus too much on what it will look like crushing it every day, and don’t allow ourselves to plan for those inevitable moments where we might need to regroup.

I’ll be the first to say that I find myself in the midst of this “First Monday” newness; woke up this morning ready to go (after my coffee, of course). But I’m also very aware that in order to keep the momentum going, I have to have more than good feels.

As the proverb says, “It takes a village”, it takes work to get motivated and stay there. Life happens and before you know it you’re off track and lose that excitement.

I have learned that in order to get something you never had you’ve got to do some things you’ve never done. In other words, your mindset has to change. Who are you willing to become in order to see your goals happen?

I realized that I needed certain measures in place in order to stay focused. For me this includes prayer, devotionals, meditation, and journaling. It also includes having an accountability partner, and practicing major self-care.

I suffer from anxiety and some days are better than others. And I understand how I can be affected by a bad day. It’s important that I protect my energy and be mindful of those things (and people) that throw me off track.

Showing yourself compassion is the best thing you can do for your well-being and your goals. When you practice being self-compassionate, it creates a courageous presence. You are more self-accepting, less afraid of failure, and are more resilient.

As you’re sitting there on this “First Monday” of the year, think about a new approach to your goals. Go ahead and hustle, but with self-kindness when things get off track. Practice self-forgiveness when plans need to be changed. And when that inner critic rises up to shame you into success, self-soothing can do the trick.

Let’s stop setting goals that don’t allow off days. Let’s stop beating ourselves up when we don’t crush it by February. Let’s stop worrying about what everyone is doing and focus on what we have to offer.

Be ambitious and be kind to yourself.

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