Tina Atchley

Welcome the New Year

A new year.  On the heels of 2020, everyone on the planet is eager for a fresh start.  Even while most of us recognize that amidst the hardships endured, there were changes to be appreciated —even to be welcomed. 

Did you spend more time reading? More time playing silly games with your kids? Did you devote time to the hobby you love? Did you find energy to tackle a project? Did you jump on the bandwagon of cleaning up clutter and home renovation?

Maybe you, like so many others, realized that some things just shouldn’t be put off.  Life doesn’t always wait for us to say I love you, to forgive someone, to not be irritated with our spouse, to give precious attention to our kids.  Let’s hang on to the realization that life is happening now and it’s up to each of us to say, do and experience the things that matter now. 

In our western culture, our new year begins on January 1st.  While our celebrations were necessarily tame this year, the tradition of setting resolutions remains. Some of you may have given up on them long ago and for good reason. Most of the time we can’t stick to them.  Resolutions to overhaul our entire lives and make radical changes just don’t work. Remembering what the year has taught us-that the time is now-let’s try “doing” change in a new way. 

Let’s keep it simple.  

  • Choose one small habit. 
  • Choose one that you want to adopt. Not one you are trying to break.  
  • Ask yourself to “do” that habit once this week.  Once next week. 
  • Two times the next two weeks.  Three times the few weeks following that.  
  • Keep it manageable.  Your momentum of small successes will propel you. 
  • When you break your streak, don’t quit.  Just start again with the small habit. Once this week, two the next…..
  • Every three months try adding a new habit. Put it in your calendar.
  • To let go of something that does not serve you-like stopping smoking or eating too many Oreos—try this after you have had success adding one or two habits.  You will feel better physically, you will be energized from your new good habits and this will make dropping negative habits SO MUCH EASIER.

Consider this: in one year you can adopt three to four good habits and drop two to three negative habits.  IMAGINE what a difference that would mean in your life. 

The days are long, but the years are short.  2022 will arrive shortly.  Do you really want to find yourself in the same place next year? No, no you don’t.  One small habit. Start there.