Self-Care

New Year, New Commitments

We all know the story. We make grandiose plans to change our lives and achieve new goals when the ball drops on the New Year and despite our best efforts these New Year’s dreams go unrealized. According to the University of Scranton around 80% of people who make New Year’s resolutions fail to achieve them.

Imagine year after year, making a commitment to ourselves just to break it. Year after year, we lie to ourselves. Year after year, we stay the same in the areas we’d most like to change.

new year's commitments

Why Don’t We Keep Those Commitments?

When people sit down and envision their future, their next adventure, or their next version of self – it’s exciting. No one sets out with the intention to lie to themselves. The thing is, most people lose that excitement to make progress towards their goals as time edges further away from January 1st.  This happens for 2 key reasons:

  1. Most people don’t keep their goals somewhere they can see every day or are reminded of them constantly.
  2. Most people don’t break down their resolutions into bite size chucks for weekly, monthly, and quarterly achievement.

These simple steps are critical to our success when it comes to making good on our New Year’s goals.

So What Can Be Done About It?

To give ourselves the best chance of getting what we want, the first step is to write the goals down everywhere! On average we are 42% more likely to achieve our goals when we write them down.

Placing the goals in places we will see them daily like on Post-Its on our bathroom mirror, on the dash of the our car, or as the backgrounds of our phones will make sure they are at the forefront of our minds. When we think about them daily, we tell our reticular activating system (part of brain that filters the information we take in) that they are important. By doing so, our brain becomes focused on recognizing the opportunities to achieve these goals.

Goal achievement is a series of decisions we make and the outcomes they produce. When our goals are imprinted in our minds, daily, it’s easier to make decisions towards their attainment.

Break It Down

New Year’s resolutions can seem daunting and begin to become overwhelming. The best gift we can give ourselves is to think of the smallest steps we can take, that will build upon each other to get the goal.

Map out the weekly objectives that lead to milestones that eventually compound into the complete goal. For example, if you aim to lose 50lbs start with the goal of 5lbs a month and break that down weekly. Then think of the smallest life changes you can make to ensure you lose the weekly objective and do them. They say you eat an elephant one bite at a time and that is how you achieve your goals.

We now have everything we need to go to make the most out of our New Year. Now, we just think of what it is we want to do… and go do it!

By Mona Nyree Stephens, contributing author

We invite you to discover inspiring and effective ways to care for yourself and to serve others.  Now more than ever, caring is what we all need most. Caring for our self.  Caring for others around us.  Life now demands caring, resilience and compassion like never before.  So, become a Custodian of the Caring Movement and help create the world we need right now, the world we want for our future generations.

UCA resources available to help include the Turbulent Times Resources Center,  radio show, publications and online store offering members huge discounts and always free shipping.

Self-Care

The End of Year Life-Audit

Well, we did it. We have managed to make it through one of the strangest and possibly most challenging years we have yet to face as a collective humanity. As we approach the final days of 2020, we are met with the opportunity to reflect and discern on how to best move forward into the New Year.

This can feel like a nostalgic time of year that brings awareness to what has worked well, while getting honest about what hasn’t worked out so well. By reflecting over the most important and basic areas of our lives, we can regain the clarity necessary to create a do-able action plan for the coming season.

We’re calling this exercise The End of Year Life-Audit.

This may seem like a big task, so we’ve broken down the Life-Audit into three basic categories: body, mind, and spirit. Let’s begin.

Life-Audit: Body

Fitness and health goals typically sit at the top of people’s New Year’s resolutions list. The first week of January infamously sees the steepest spike in gym memberships out of the entire year, yet within a few weeks those same people drop off from having lost their original momentum. This is an example of what happens when we do what we think we’re “supposed” to do, versus finding outlets of moving the body in a way most aligned with who we are as people. There is no one-size fits all solution to the health of the body.

In a culture that idolizes very specific body types, diets, superfoods, and fitness trends, it can feel hard to relate with mainstream perceptions of health. This is why the real work is in discovering what health means for our individual body. And then, honor our choice through a lens of support instead of comparison. Caring for our body from the inside out is an act of kindness to ourselves.  It isn’t about pursuing perfection or maintaining ideals.  Rather, it’s the ongoing pursuit of balance.

body audit symbol

Body Audit

  • How did I care for, and treat, my body with respect this year?
  • How have I neglected or overlooked the well-being of my body?
  • Are my eating habits nourishing me or depleting me?
  • What’s the distance between how I want to physically feel versus how I realistically feel in my body today?
  • What is one simple change I can commit to in support of my physical body?

Life-Audit: Mind

The mind governs our mental and emotional happenings. It steers the way we experience the world, and how we process thoughts. In consideration of the pandemic and other happenings this year, mental and emotional health has felt unsteady for many. Our self-awareness and ability to maneuver through challenges relies on the fineness of the mind, and so it’s important to consider how we are engaging with the information available to us. There’s an excess of stimulation these days as we anticipate news headlines and adapt as everything switches online. Perhaps you or a loved one has been feeling mentally fatigued– it’s time to get curious about how our habits contribute to this.

mind audit symbol

Mind Audit

  • How much time do I spend behind the screen?
  • When was the last time I learned a new skill or picked up a hobby?
  • Are my most consistent activities helping me grow, or feel stuck?
  • When was the last time I had a compelling conversation?
  • What’s one way I can invite higher quality stimulation to my mind & life?

Life-Audit: Spirit

The category of spirit can seem abstract, but it’s simply speaking to the state of our joy and the depth of our love. Our spirit feels alive through laughter, through growing relationships, and in connecting with Mother Nature herself. These are experiential qualities that allow us to feel connected to something outside of ourselves. When spirit is active and felt within us we have access to our creativity, inner steadiness, and our own depth. These are the building blocks for feelings of wholeness and long-lasting success.

spirit audit symbol

Spirit Audit

  • Do my relationships (family, friends, community) feel satisfying?
  • When was the last time I went into nature alone?
  • What kinds of thoughts do I have first thing upon waking up, and before bed?
  • What is one thing I wish I could do but feel nervous about?
  • 3 things I am grateful for and why?

We hope The End of Year Life-Audit offers you some fresh perspective and motivation moving forward into the New Year. Remember, it’s never too late to turn things around or support yourself and those around you in a sustainable caring way.

By Melissa Aparicio, contributing author

We invite you to discover inspiring and effective ways to care for yourself and to serve others.  Now more than ever, caring is what we all need most. Caring for our self.  Caring for others around us.  Life now demands caring, resilience and compassion like never before.  So, become a Custodian of the Caring Movement and help create the world we need right now, the world we want for our future generations.

UCA resources available to help include the Turbulent Times Resources Center,  radio show, publications and online store offering members huge discounts and always free shipping.