Happy New Year! 2021 finally is here.
For some of us, turning a new year has us celebrating and looking ahead to new and brighter days. Others might be downright too exhausted to notice or care that 2020 has ended and a new year has begun.
While 2020 might have required modifications to our usual events, such as celebrations of holidays, enjoyment of public places and the physical touch of a hug or a handshake (how many “air hugs” did we give?), we also witnessed or were apart of wonderful life events, such as the birth of a baby, buying a home or getting married.
From a self-care perspective, perhaps 2020 created a little (or maybe a major) detour for you on your journey for self-love, personal development and focus on your health and wellness.
In ringing in a new year, hearing a spoken reference or reading the term “2021,” you might feel a spark inside of you that says, “Let’s go,” and you are back in the driver’s seat of your personal journey.
On the flip side, perhaps you aren’t yet feeling that spark. You are not alone in your experience, but by doing something small, you can create a chain reaction for greater and better things. I’m often reminded of the saying, “Small hinges swing big doors.”
Rather than focusing on resolutions for 2021, I encourage you to focus on an outcome (or two) you want for yourself in the next six to eight weeks.
Let’s be honest: Resolutions rarely are kept, but when you focus on and work toward an outcome you want, you will be more likely to stick with it and make it happen.
First, take time to think and write down outcomes you would like to achieve. What is important about these outcomes for you? What will having these outcomes do for you? These are what are called your motivating factors.
Next, create little reminders so you don’t forget. These little reminders are called anchors. An anchor is something physical in your environment that will remind you of why you are doing this — why you are making this effort.
Anchors do two things: They act as a pattern interrupter, so it is something that stops you when you are tempted to make a choice which might not be in alignment with your outcomes. The second is give you an influx of energy. It will be that reminder that jolts you think, “Oh, yes. I want to do this for myself.”
Think of any physical objects, sounds or smells in your environment that you will see every day or will want to see every day. Some examples could be your favorite song, a delightful scent, picture on your phone, inspirational quote near your computer or a piece of jewelry.
Third, think about and write down what motivates you. People generally are considered to be extrinsically motivated or intrinsically motivated. Extrinsic motivation means you are motivated to perform an activity to earn a reward, win a prize or receive a benefit. Intrinsic motivation means you are motivated to perform an activity for personal rewards of feeling enjoyment, a sense of purpose, self-growth or just for fun.
Finally, set up accountability with a friend, family member,
co-worker or support person. This makes success inevitable because you are setting up conditions that include surrounding yourself with people who have the beliefs system and outcomes you want.
One of my favorite quotes is, “There’s a reason why the rearview mirror is so small and the windshield is so big. Because where you’re headed is much more important than where you’ve been.”
As we start a new year, we likely will reflect on what 2020 was or wasn’t for us. More importantly, we can have a fresh perspective and a vision for what we want to have and continue on our journey because the destination for your goals and outcomes is so worth it.
Andrea Mausser is a life coach from New Vienna, Iowa.