Take back January! A Simple Strategy to Set Yourself Up for a More Successful Year.

Stressed about making New Year’s resolutions with unfinished business hanging over your head?  Check out a simple strategy for finishing “old year” tasks that will get rid of New Year stress. #newyearnewyou #newyearsresolutions

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!  WELCOME, 2018!  NEW YEAR, NEW YOU!

Blech. Gag me.  

Not to be negative, but I have a little issue with all the New Year’s hype.  

Okay, I have a big issue with the all the New Year’s hype. 

“New Year! New Me!”

“Today is the first blank page in a 365 page book!”

“And so the adventure begins!”

BBBBLLLEEECHHHHHHH.

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Thanks for having my back, Batman

 

I mean, life doesn’t just magically start over on January 1.

Did y’all know that you don’t just wake up on New Year’s Day a different person!?

What the crap?

WHY CAN’T WE JUST WAKE UP ON NEW YEAR’S DAY A DIFFERENT PERSON?!

Imagine this.  Your entire life is at zero.  ZE.RO. Some how- SOME WAY- all of your ducks are in a row.  Each of your ducks.  Lined up in a row.

Is that too much to ask?

Now I’m not saying that when you wake up New Year’s Day a miracle of biblical proportions should have taken place.  All I want is to be able to dive into a new year without all the crap from the old year still hanging over my head!

Now y’all know I’m not a naysayer. I’m a positive kinda girl, but really? 

I’ve had about all I can take of the beauty of a new year crap that’s been going around.

After all, the month or so from Thanksgiving to Christmas is just a blur anyway. 

And that’s not a bad thing! It’s a busy time of year. Hopefully a joyful time of year but still, busy is busy. 

And then the week after Christmas? You can’t get anything done the week after Christmas. You’re still in the Christmas haze. You’re celebrating New Year's Eve. And more importantly, your kids haven’t gone back to school yet.

See, I think we should start a revolution.  

Instead of January 1 being the day that we make our resolutions, being the day that we turn over a new leaf-that we START OVER-I think we should use January as a “finish up” month and then start those resolutions in February.

You know, build in a buffer!

Some breathing time.

A “work month”, if you will.

Personally, I usually go from super excited on the night of December 31 to completely overwhelmed by the afternoon of January 1 because, somewhere in those short twelve to sixteen hours, I realize that I’m already “behind”.   

“THERE’S SO MUCH STUFF FROM THE PAST YEAR THAT I HAVEN’T HAD A CHANCE TO FINISH YET!”

And then…

“AND THERE’S EVEN MORE STUFF TO PREPARE FOR THE NEW YEAR THAT I HAVEN’T EVEN STARTED ON YET!” 

In hindsight, I realize I should have expected this.  That I shouldn’t have continued to be poleaxed by that reality every single Janaury 1st. 

I mean, there’s not this magical slice of time somewhere between 11:59:59 on December 31 and 12:00:00 on January 1 where we wrap up all of our loose ends!

WHY ISN’T THERE A MAGICAL SLICE OF TIME BETWEEN 11:59:59 ON DECEMBER 31 AND 12:00:00 ON JANUARY 1!?

Why isn’t there a gap month?  Or a gap week?  Or heck, a gap DAY!  

Just some period of time BEFORE all the “NEW YEAR, NEW YOU!” crap where you can catch up? 

Whew!  I’m getting’ a little fired up about this.  I gotta calm down. 

Breathe. Breathe.

After all, it’s not like January 1 is the deadline of open enrollment for trying new things, for turning over a new leaf. 

I mean, yeah, our goal won’t be wrapped up in a pretty little package (WOO HOO!  2018 WAS THE YEAR I WENT TO THE GYM TWICE A DAY, EVERY DAY!) like a brand-spankin' new calendar. 

But really, how realistic are our “neat little package” resolutions anyway?  

If you’re anything like me, you fall off the bandwagon once and then the whole thing is out the window.  “Crap, I just took out a can of spray cheese.  Looks like eating healthy will just have to wait until next year!”

Let’s not put so much dang pressure on January 1 anymore. Let’s use January to get our heads in the game for the upcoming year. 

If 2018 is my World Series, then I’m using January to toss the ball around, to take some batting practice and to do a stretch or two.

YUP, January, even though you’re cold as a well digger’s lunch, I’m using you as my warm up this year.  And you should too.

Here’s the BIG question though.  

What does that look like?  

What does it mean to use January as your warm up?  

How do you actually finish up old business so you’re ready on February 1?  What do you do to make sure you don’t procrastinate the month away like you may have done in the past?  

It’s actually pretty simple.  Not necessarily EASY, but pretty simple.  

Four Steps to Take Back January

1. Brainstorm all of your loose ends from 2017. 

Anything that you feel like you haven’t finished up or is still hanging over your head.  Write them down.  

This list doesn’t include things you WISHED you’d done last year.  This list is just for tasks that you started but haven’t quite wrapped up yet.

2. Choose FOUR of those unfinished items to tackle this month. 

Why four? Well, there are almost five full weeks of January.  By choosing four, you give yourself a little over a week’s time to complete each item.  (I realize you may work on them all a little bit at a time simultaneously but having that sort of time frame reference is helpful! 

You get seven-ish days to work on each task.  That kind of quantitative “cap” usually gets my butt in gear!”

3. Schedule time ON YOUR CALENDAR to work.

I know, I know.  Where the heck are you gonna put it?  

The thing is though, if you don’t schedule it SOMEWHERE, you’re gonna forget about it.  At least until you bolt upright out of a dead sleep and panic rains down upon you with hurricane force.  

4. Share your plans with someone.  

A friend.   A co-worker.  Write it in the comments of this post!

Not only will this keep you accountable, it’ll give you a partner in crime to aid in motivation, celebration, and maybe even a little bit of the workload!

February 1st, we’ll see YOU soon.    Yep, just when everyone else is falling off their resolution wagon, we’re gonna be fresh, fired up, and ready for revival this year!

Stressed about making New Year’s resolutions with unfinished business hanging over your head?  Check out a simple strategy for finishing “old year” tasks that will get rid of New Year stress. #newyearnewyou #newyearsresolutions