The new year is well underway.
Hopefully, you’re still rocking your new year goals. Many goals are set in the new year; ending bad habits, starting new good habits, being more productive, starting a new hobby, and returning to an old one. These are all wonderful goals that can add a lot to your life. They can help you feel productive, feel accomplished, and many other benefits. You see many advertisements and sayings such as New Year, New You! Well, I hate to break it to you- It is a new year, but you are the same you! That isn’t a bad thing- you see you know you, you know your strengths, your weaknesses, or in social work terms, your opportunities for growth.
This year I encourage everyone to focus in on themselves and what they want for their lives.
Strengthen connections with the people that matter, and cut ties with the ones that bring you down. You know those energy-sucking people….let them go! As we jump into the new year evaluate yourself and what you need to be the best version of yourself you can be.
You can also add many things to your daily or weekly routine to help you grow and find joy in your life. I am going to share with you some of the things I have found helpful as I continue to grow into the best version of myself. Some of the best things you can add to your new year to optimize your success do not cost any money at all! Adding even just one of these things to your new routines can go a long way. If you want someone to help you navigate all the changes you wish to make, True You Always located in Brevard County, Florida can help. We can provide support throughout the state of Florida through our virtual services for counseling and our coaching and energy therapy are available throughout the world.
Ok so let’s dig in….
Mindfulness is a wonderful tool to begin working on. The best part is that there is no wrong time to start. Nor is it ever too late to start. Mindfulness is nothing new to the world. It has been around in Eastern cultures and many other cultures around the world for millennia. Here in the West, however, it is a newer concept. Mindfulness allows you to be present in your own life, which slows down the chaos of your day-to-day. It allows you to get more out of each day. It reduces stress and anxiety as well as provides an overall sense of happiness. Brene Brown talks about learning to lengthen the space between stimulus and response. This actually helps you to do that, to become less reactive and more thoughtful when there is a stimulus so that you can respond in a way that is in alignment with your values.
Mindfulness can be accomplished in many ways, whether through meditation, grounding exercises, or journaling.
Each of these practices allows you to focus on your experiences, emotions, and reactions which allows you to experience them more completely. It also forces you to remain focused on something present and not allow your thoughts to wander on stresses of the past or concerns of the future. When I first started practicing mindfulness and when I start with clients, I chose a short amount of time like 30 seconds to start with and then build that time. It’s not easy to practice mindfulness when we are taught to do 100 things at once in this world. Be gentle with yourself if you chose to start a mindfulness practice and know that change takes time.
There are a few things that can help you focus on being present or provide the brain with endorphins as physical movement. Some studies have even shown that exercise or physical activity can be as powerful or are powerful than antidepressant medication for combatting depression. Another good aspect of physical movement is that it is relative to your capabilities and interests. You do not ever have to step into a gym or turn on a treadmill. Physical movement can be stretching, going for 10-minute walks, or a yoga video on you. tube. In getting physical the goal is not solely focused on the physical but the mental and emotional as well.
When you are stretching or on a walk, it makes it easier to focus on the present moment.
It will also increase blood flow and oxygen which increases energy. The increase in energy brings forth many other benefits such as productivity and engagement with those around you. Plus, fewer mid-day crashes, which who wouldn’t enjoy less of those? When looking at getting physical, it is important that you chose a movement that feels good to you. Throw out all the crap of people trying to sell you things. Beach body, fab abs it’s all just people trying to make money off you.
Look at movement as a way to connect with your body and feel good in your body no matter the size of your body. Don’t wait to have the “perfect body” or “lose 10 lbs” to start. Do the things you enjoy now! Maybe you want to learn to skate or get back to skating but you think you don’t feel confident- that’s ok we can help you move past the insecurities so that you can start to enjoy what you do.
Set Micro Goals!
One reason you give up on many of your goals and new year’s resolutions is that you set a goal. A strange way of putting it, for sure. But you set an end goal—get debt free, get a promotion, make more money, be more present, be a better friend—so your focus is on the main goal. If the main goal is to feel better, for example, that may take a whole year depending on many factors and may change day to day. After a few months, it can seem like little to no progress has been made. This leads to frustration and ultimately giving up and feeling like a failure.
Instead, setting micro-goals, which are small attainable goals you can accomplish in a short period of time, keeps you motivated, provides accomplishment, and maintains momentum. A micro-goal to feeling better may include being in bed by 11 each night.
Let’s break this down a little further.
If my end goal is to drink 8 glasses of water each daybed I am not drinking any water that could be overwhelming and frankly not very realistic all at once. So instead I may start with drink a glass of water every morning when I wake up. And keep a bottle of water with me throughout the day. Once I have gotten into this habit I may then add drinking a glass of water every afternoon or evening. And I am going to gradually increase the amount of water I drink over time. You see when you break it down a little more it’s easier to see the progress and make the progress with less feeling of soft overwhelm or frustration that gets in the way.
Perhaps you want to “get in shape” or increase your movement daily.
Maybe going to the gym or a yoga class seems intimidating. Well, let’s start with a micro goal. You could grab a friend at work and go for a walk every day after lunch. It doesn’t have to Abe a long walk just a few minutes to start is great. Over time you may increase the time of the walk. And guess what, if you start to do these walks and you learn you hate walks….you do not have to keep doing them. You can decide to do something different! Shhh!! The diet culture and wellness billion-dollar industry don’t want you to know it’s okay to just be you and do what you enjoy. Oops, the secret is out.
So remember micro goals and do what you enjoy. These small goals that you can track easily and notice the benefits of right away will bring more progress and before you know it you will be the end goal. These goals are easier to accomplish and maintain than the main goal which requires the accumulation of many small things.
Learn Something New!
One thing that many people, and you may too, struggle with is the feeling of boredom. When your routine is the same each day life can feel monotonous. One of the fun aspects of the new year is that it offers endless possibilities and the prosperity of hope. It is new and therefore exciting. However, your routine likely doesn’t change and you quickly fall back into the monotony you grew bored of originally.
To keep your motivation and excitement, and to help keep you present, try something new every month. It might be a new type of food. A new park. It may be a new class or a new hobby. It may even be something big such as a new career field. Or, it may be something you never learned as a child, such as riding a bike or swimming. You can even add something new every day to break up the monotony. Try a different type of coffee, read a book genre you normally wouldn’t, or wear a fun outfit.
The number 1 thing keeping you from being completely present and falling into that same old rut is technology. The average person spends 2.5 hours a day on social media, 4+ hours of television, and checking e-mails 11 times per day. That is at the very least 7 hours of your day spent on a screen. 49 hours a week! You essentially have a second full-time job that involves nothing but a screen.
On top of that social media has been directly correlated to anxiety and depression, and television has some of the same risks. To drastically improve your mental health try cutting out screen time. That does not mean you have to give it up entirely, though. Try cutting down about half of your time per day (your phone tracks how much time you spend each day on social media) and work your way to not checking social media or watching television for an entire day once a week.
Begin Individual Therapy in Brevard County, FL
Creating smaller goals and sticking with them can be much easier said than done. Learn more about the support our team of caring therapists can offer from our Brevard County, FL-based practice. We are happy to help clients gain the tools they need to grow and become the best versions of themselves. You can start your therapy journey by following these simple steps:
- Contact True You Always
- Meet with our caring therapists
- Start accomplishing the goals you set for yourself!
Other Services Offered at True You Always
Here at True You Always, we offer many services with a wide range of therapists. We are here to support you regardless of what you’re dealing with. Along with individual therapy, we offer additional services at our Florida practice. You may also be interested in therapy for first responders, therapy for work stress, anxiety, and stress treatment, or PTSD treatment and trauma therapy.
Additionally, we offer couples therapy, family therapy, LGBTQIA+ therapy, therapy for disordered eating, therapy for teens and tweens, support for families with a loved one struggling with ED, substance use disorders, therapy for spouses of first responders, play therapy, therapy for allergies, and chronic illness. All services are offered via online therapy in Florida so you can get help from the comfort of your own space.