Ah, the new-year. A time for refreshed perspectives, new beginnings and getting organized-and this time, I mean it! Ok, let’s face it. January is hardly the time of year for anyone to be taking on lofty goals but for some reason, we have decided that this dark, frozen and unholy month is the right time to set a course for “better”. A quick look around us reveals that folks are feeling overwhelmed, overspent, overtired and cold. After noisy holidays with family, maxed out credit cards and a belly still full of sugar and turkey, we must now find a way to honour our goals for the new-year.
Here’s a little secret. Getting there doesn’t have to be all that hard. Whether you’re trying to pay down your debt, lose weight, get a promotion or spend more time with family, you have the power and the tools to reach your objective- unexhausted. All you have to do is learn to say no.
Why there is no one in the gym on January 15th
They say a goal properly set is halfway reached, meaning this isn’t a hot dog eating contest. Pace yourself and set realistic goals. Gyms make millions every January selling one year memberships to people. Look at your schedule and decide if you really can work-out 5 days a week at six in the morning. Is it going to get in the way of your goal to change your eating habits and spend more time with friends? Say no to over committing yourself and start thinking about what you can do and when.
For the love! Get some sleep
As schedules get busy and work piles up we tend we tend to start skipping sleep and exercise. Say no to ditching your gym or pulling an all-nighter in favour of turning off your TV, shutting down your smart phone or taking an internet break. This can free up hours you didn’t even know you had, it will give your mind and your eyeballs a technology rest. Not only is sleep the time when you get to be a Pirate, but it’s also the time your body reviews and sharpens skills you learned that day while replenishing energy and immune responses that allow you to be a functioning human being during the day. Getting enough sleep will mean you can pay closer attention, perform better mentally and physically, control weight and manage your stress monster.
You think being overweight is bad? Wait until you hear what stress is doing to you
Duh! Everyone knows stress is bad but I have a feeling that if stress were a physical attribute or social construct like being overweight or mom-jeans we would address it much differently. Stress makes us vulnerable to colds and flu as well as sleep loss, cardiovascular disease and stress-eating, but so what? This invisible saboteur will erode your energy and willpower until you have all but forgotten you had goals at all. “The scientists” have discovered when under too much stress we humans love to procrastinate, under or over eat, have negative attitudes, and are more disorganization than usual. Managing your stress is a critical component of staying on track and reaching your goals and pushing through it just delays the inevitable.
So be good to yourself, say no once in a while and remember, you can put a busted-ass Britney Spears on stage but that doesn’t guarantee a good performance.