By Kassi Buscher
If you're like me, January can be kind of a let-down. After the fast pace of December, the slow pace of the New Year is almost unsettling. I am admittedly a person who naturally thrives in the fast lane, so the cold temperatures, shorter days and sluggish winter routine can make someone like me start to feel blah.
Once I realized this predictable pattern in my life, I was able to make a choice to do something about it. I decided to "embrace the pace". My challenge to all of you who thrive in chaos and stress, is to do the same. I have collected a few tips to help you get started.
TIP #1 - Forget Resolutions - Reach Down Deep Instead
I stopped making resolutions years ago. Maybe its because I am dreamer, but my resolutions were always big: "I will lose 50 pounds this year" or " I will send birthday cards to everyone I know" on January 1st, were followed by gaining 5 pounds and realizing I already missed 3 birthdays by January 10th. Am I that much of a rebel? I'm not so sure. As I have gotten older, and I dare to say, wiser, I have found that January is a great time to slowly take inventory of who you are and what you want to achieve in the upcoming year. Any resolutions made without really knowing what you want and why are pointless. To help you get started, uset this self-assessment and spend the month digging deep.
TIP #2 - Get Real People
Could I spare to lose a few pounds? Sure. But 50? Only if I need to slip under an unopened door for any reason in the near future. My resolutions always fail because they are simply unrealistic and not who I am. Taking inventory in January leads to realistic and healthy goals for the entire year. Last year, I spent a lot of the first month of the year reading about nutrition, and not just the latest diet book either. I "homeschooled" myself to become a nutrition expert, researching what food can do for not only your body, but your mind and soul too. My new knowledge inspired me to make realistic changes: try new things, eliminate foods with no value, and so on. I may have started slow, but by September I had lost 30 pounds and never quite felt like I was on a diet. Then I got pregnant, go figure....
TIP #3 - Slow and Steady Wins Every Time
Of all the tips I am giving, this is the most difficult for me to stick to. I love fast, always have and always will. And my need for speed has come in very handy so many times in my life. However, making solid changes that stick requires patience and time. Your self-inventory may reveal many things that you feel you could benefit from, be it making an effort to spend more time with a specific person or group, or simply living each day with more gratitude and thoughtfulness for others in your life. My biggest advice, and the only thing that has worked for me, is to simply let go. Enjoy the slowness of positive change in your life. Stop and smell the roses. Learn to embrace a silent night. Get in touch with your higher self and let her guide you.