I love this time of year. This week between Christmas and New Year's is my favorite week of the whole year. It's the perfect time to do some serious reflecting. The madness of Christmas is generally over, the dreariness of a long winter hasn't set in yet, and the holiday spirit is still lingering in the air. Thoughts naturally drift towards wondering what the new year ahead will bring. This, of course, leads to New Year's Resolutions, which often consist of grandiose plans to lose 50 pounds in a month, or to finally take that dream vacation. The general idea seems to be that this coming year is going to be the best year EVER. And we all know what happens to those plans. Flash forward to you three weeks from now, passed out in a pile of ding dongs and donuts, with chocolate and cream-filling smashed into the travel brochures. This is not the ideal scenario for achieving your dreams.
In my opinion, the problem with New Year's Resolutions is they don't take into account the nature of dreams. Dreams are illusionary things. They look fully formed from a distance, but as you approach them, they float away like smoke. In order to achieve them, you have to be able to grab hold of them. You have to look right at them, in the eye, and determine what needs to happen in order to keep them around. So how do you do that? How do you stare down those dreams of yours until they sit at your heels in submission to your obvious authority over them? You do the thing that is incredibly hard for so many of us. You sit still.
Yes, you read that right. You find a quiet spot, preferably with a steaming mug of tea, coffee, or hot chocolate, and you sit with your thoughts. You focus all your attention on what you want this next year to bring. You think about what needs to occur for that big dream to happen. Let's say you do want to lose 50 pounds. Look closely at that goal. Is a month really realistic? Unless you are a celebrity with a personal trainer and chef, probably not. But what if you make it your plan for the whole year? Maybe break it down to 10 pounds a month. Or five pounds. It doesn't matter the number you go with, just make it something you can actually do. Think about what habits you have to break. Be honest, but gentle with yourself. This is not the time to make yourself feel bad about any negative habits you may have formed, but this is the time to acknowledge them. Decide what you are going to do about that habit. Write down what positive thing you are going to do instead. Post it somewhere you will see it. Spend as much time as you need thinking about how you are going to honestly make this dream happen.
Reflecting is an act that, while it seems passive, actually gives you the power to grab onto those whispy dreams of yours and make them solid. If you fall off the wagon, which we all inevitably do, reflecting (in a way that's forgiving of yourself) on why you slipped up gives you the ability to jump right back on. Those quiet moments look idle, but they have great power to transform your life.
It's nice to meet you! Welcome to my blog. My name is Amy, and my husband and I have three lively kids. We are so happy to share our journey with you. Come along as we learn to embrace the messiness of life, and maybe chase a dream or two along the way.