As I write this, it's December 1st, 2019 - one month until 2020, and until 60%-80% of us make our New Year's Resolutions! A resolution is defined as a 'firm decision to do or not do something' (bonus points if you read this in Yoda's voice). In other words, a resolution is essentially a change.
It's my guess that nobody's really thinking about resolutions yet. Oddly enough, the festive season causes us to increase the behavior that, one month from now, we'll be seeking to change. Here are some examples:
- Black Friday and Cyber Monday may give us good deals, but we can feel pressured to spend more than we're comfortable with. So in January, we resolve to spend less.
- Increased social activities can be fun, but they can lead to burning the candle at both ends. So in January, we resolve to get more sleep.
- More time with family can trigger old habits and patterns of behavior; feeling tired and stressed can cause feelings of irritability and overwhelm. So in January we resolve to be kinder.
- All the festive parties, potlucks and so on can wreak havoc on our eating habits. So in January we resolve to go on a diet AND hit the gym daily, stat!
Over the coming weeks, I'll give you tips on how to deal with the changes that are happening in the festive season, and how to move towards setting resolutions that you can actually stick to.
For the first week of December, I'd like you to start thinking about what you'd like to change in your life that would help you make the shift from surviving to thriving.
For example, you could choose to turn down one party invite this month, and instead spend that evening getting some well-deserved rest or doing something that re-energizes you. If it's hard for you to say no to an invitation, you can say something like "Thank you for inviting me to your festive party. Unfortunately I'm not able to make it to the party this year. I appreciate you thinking of me."
If you're used to always saying yes to invitations and other requests, recognize that it will feel uncomfortable for you to make this shift. Try to resist the urge to apologize or to over-explain. Did you know that over-explaining often makes the situation worse? If you're struggling with turning down an invitation, it can be easier to politely turn down an invitation from someone that you don't have a close relationship or connection with.
Try it out and let me know how it goes!