Bears, turtles, and snakes, this is the time of year where animals hibernate and slow down. So why do all of us want to start the year with the “GO GO GO, DO DO DO” laundry list mentality? The holidays are such a hustle and then New Years comes and we’re rushing to CHANGE ourselves through our new resolutions that always seem to be the same every year; diet, exercise, organize, etc…. And we all try to make these resolutions a reality in the first few weeks of January then to have them be long abandoned by February, feeling defeated and like a lost cause.
Why don’t we do something different this year? Why not change our mindset instead of trying to reinvent ourselves and our lives?
“If you focus on results, you will never change. If you focus on change, you will get results” Jack Dixon
So instead of making resolutions this year, I’m making the choice to work on my mindset and I’m using these…
5 Ways to change our Mindset and bring more GENTLENESS into the New Year:
1 ) Start your day with a morning mindset routine. Think about what you’re looking forward to for the day. Instead of a to-do list, write down what excites you about the coming day. Think of it as setting an intention for your day. The goal is to be mindful of how you want your day to go. It could also be writing a few things down that you are grateful for. Whatever you need to create that mindset for the day.
We all have a lot to do in the morning with getting our kids ready for school, ourselves to work, etc. Getting up a little earlier, before the kids is a routine I’ve done for years. I cherish those quiet mornings to myself. Don’t get me wrong I love a good sleep-in but I love my “ME” time before tending to my family’s needs.
Tip: Try setting out your favorite mug next to your journal the night before so everything is right there for you to make your tea, lemon water or coffee while you begin your day with your Morning Mindset. I have a pretty journal and a nice pen because that just makes me want to write when I have something pretty to write in and with. My journal entry is the same pattern every day. View a sample here.
2) Let’s nurture positive moments and wins rather than berate ourselves. For example allowing myself to enjoy my warm cup of lemon water before getting my girls ready to start their day of homeschool, rather than berating myself for not getting up earlier to meditate, exercise, journal, or write my morning mindset, etc.
- Tip: If we change our mindset to focus on the things we actually do, and most especially those things that feel right to us, rather than what we didn’t do, or doing things because we feel we should, then we are actually accomplishing a great deal and a definite win for the day.
3) Let’s make daily choices rather than lofty resolutions for the entire year. For example, choosing something healthy each day that makes you feel good rather than denying yourself for an entire year. Breaking it down like that seems WAY more manageable.
- One thing that I knew would help me is prepping my morning smoothies. I know I love the taste and how the smoothies make me feel first thing in the morning, but I don’t enjoy gathering all the ingredients every morning. So to make a wise choice easier I prepare them in advance and place them in the freezer so I can just grab, mix and enjoy. Already I feel like I’m off to a great start. It’s about bringing in more healthy habits in a way that feels good to you and works for your life.
4) Let’s be more kind & gentle with ourselves. Changing your mindset means changing the way we speak to ourselves. Let’s get rid of the negative self-talk once and for all, shall we? Let’s kill the ANTs, no not little insects but Automatic Negative Thoughts. And as a side note to this, it is important to say NO when you need to. Do you say yes to everyone? I do. I tend to spread myself EVERYWHERE. I like to give, help, do and always feel bad if I’m not doing EVERYTHING that people ask of me. It’s not healthy. Saying no is a skill that takes practice for some. With saying NO when needed, it means I’m putting myself and my needs first and taking care of me. That is the only way to be able to take care of the others in your life.
5) Becoming more conscious of the information you take in on a daily basis. Are you addicted to the news? Your phone? Social media? All of the above? This is a struggle for me. If we are to change our mindset, then we need to be able to control the information that we take in. It is everywhere and can be hard to control. I know I realized this when we first went overseas in 2017 and because the lack of TV access and to English news I noticed that not being exposed to it had a more positive effect on me and it was something I was looking forward to not adding back into my life when returning stateside. I have stuck to this since then but do keep myself informed by reading the news online and my evening conversations with my husband when discuss world events. Listening to more books and podcasts will be part of that mindset change – bringing in more positive information.
Winter is a time to rest more, to check in with ourselves, find stillness and reflect. Let’s cultivate a new mindset and invite warmth into our lives. Lets focus on the intentions we create, this will lead to the changes we want to see. Let’s indulge in our own form of hibernation, and be gentle with our entry into the new year.
Please share with us your own ways to bring more ease and change to your mindset this year. We LOVE to learn from you.
This post was written in collaboration with Lani Rosen-Gallagher of Full of Joy Yoga and my partner in Mindful Yoga Breaks®