Well, there is no doubt about it, time seems to be flying! It feels like you just get the holidays trappings and trimmings put away and it's time to get them out again. When we interviewed women for our book Love for Grown-ups, we discovered that as the holidays came to an end, women looked to the New Year with both anticipation and yes, a bit of dread. How can you look at the New Year as a fresh start? Here are some ideas:
Keep your resolutions reasonable. Sure, we all might want to put "lose ten pounds by Valentine's Day" on our resolutions list, but let's be practical here -- the odds of that happening are probably pretty slim, but if you do achieve that goal, good for you! Try thinking of more "life changing" resolutions like "try something new this year," or "get in touch with friends from college," that kind of thing. The pounds will take care of themselves.
Use deadlines to help you do things you've putting off. One woman we interviewed for our book told us that she and her husband had been meaning to rewrite their wills for over three years and still hadn't gotten around to it. One of her friends finally said, "Use your wedding anniversary as the deadline for writing your wills. Tell yourselves you'll have it done before you celebrate" -- and they did.
Make a list and get help checking it twice. There is no doubt that we are all really, really busy! Work, family, doctors' visits, the list goes on, and sometimes just thinking about all you have to do, well, stops you from doing it. Some of the brides we interviewed told us that they have used online sites that help you organize your life, like sending you an email when someone's birthday is coming up. These can really help you keep control of the "to do list" we all carry in our heads which can become overwhelming.
Control the clutter a little at a time. If you're like a lot of us, you are stopped in your tracks by all that needs to be done around your house. Your underwear drawer explodes every time you open it, the closets are packed with clothes you haven't worn in years, etc. etc. One bride suggested this helpful tip: Get a kitchen timer and set it for twenty minutes. Go through clutter until the bell rings and stop. If you know you have only twenty minutes, you don't get bogged down, and a number of 20 minute clean-out sessions are much easier to handle than trying to go at it for an hour.
Look at the calendar and think ahead. When you get your calendar for 2013, think if there is something you'd like to do in say, the summer or fall, and plan ahead. If you've been trying to take the kids camping for two years but somehow it never happens, this is the year to look ahead and say "let's go the second week in August." If it turns out you have to move your trip, fine, but at least you've got it on the calendar!
Remember that the beginning of every year is a new, fresh start. You may not achieve all of your goals, but every little bit will help make this year even better than the last.
What do you plan to do differently this year from last year?