10 Ways to Restore Your Productive Energies this New Year Without the Resolution Pressure (part 1)


Ahhh, yes. 2017 is here. New year, new resolutions (i.e. more BS rules and restrictions we force on ourselves likely out of guilt and being fed up with our own preexisting BS). Hmmm…

Are you getting my true feelings on resolutions? Is my contempt leaking from your screen yet? I hope so.

New Year’s resolutions suck and are oftentimes super ineffective. Resolutions are just cycles of promises we make to ourselves, and sometimes others, for a desired outcome. We put an unreasonable amount of pressure on ourselves to get this outcome, usually within a strict timeframe, and get in our feelings when life happens and we can’t perform exactly as planned. OR when we procrastinate (again) because we never really addressed the core problem, only the surface problem which is usually way less important than the core. We then lose interest in chasing some superficial, fleeting idea that we continue to push aside and drop further down the priority list.

Is this the end of your torture? NOPE!

We then start to question ourselves and our resolve and self-control. Was this the right resolution? I mean, did you REALLY put the thought necessary into crafting this resolution? Maybe not. Wait, but maybe so. Maybe you’re just a lazy punk with no self-control. Dude, what the flip… Carrie Ann just lost 50 more lbs?! And you really can’t do a mile once a week at the gym? You suck major monkey you-know-whats.

Yesss…. Now we’ve reached the part where your self-esteem plummets while you continue to compare your life to those of everyone else on your timeline who you don’t even talk to anymore and are just airing their highlights while you cry over your sad behind the scenes clips. Awesome!

Let’s be better than resolutions. We want to live well in finding the real meaning and value in all we do.

Below are 10 things you can do now to restore your productive energies in preparation for a prosperous 2017 and beyond.

Make the decision, right now, to be kind to yourself. And mean it! We are all so hard on ourselves, and for what? Life is hard enough. We tend to form resolutions out of regrets and resentment. We all have things we wish we’d done differently or just not at all, but as cliché as it sounds, we must choose to learn the lessons and move forward. Otherwise, we’ll continue to replay – and maybe even re-do – the bad action until we’re forced to learn the lesson or lose ourselves in an abyss of self-pity. You’re stronger than that. Make the decision to love yourself enough to demand better from now on.

If something makes you feel bad or less than, cut it. Period. No exceptions. No closure.

I repeat, NO CLOSURE. Low self-worth is closure enough.

You have an amazing gift to share with the world, whether you know what it is or not. Find it and use it as a tool to pull yourself from the darkness.

Take stock and show some gratitude. At this time of the year, we can be unappreciative, or even resentful of small changes. We think if we don’t see a big sweeping transformation, we aren’t going anywhere. But that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Take a couple minutes now to think about all you have now that you didn’t have this time last year. Really examine your life and I’m sure you’ll see things you wished, prayed, and meditated on a year or two ago are right in front of you now.

Everything positive happening for you likely came from steps taken in the right direction. No, you aren’t where you want to be and probably won’t ever be if you don’t show gratitude for what life has given you. There’s always another step to climb and a new level to reach, so if you aren’t recognizing the growth and blessings along the way, it’ll all pass you by.

Please don’t take small change for granted. Instead, ride the good vibes! If you feel that things are slowly headed (okay, crawling) in the direction you desire, be grateful because you’re doing something right. That’s brings us to #3.

Loosen up. You have got to relax, woman!

Try not to focus too intensely on what needs to change. We sometimes place inflexible restrictions on ourselves to achieve the perfect results, not realizing that restrictions kind of restrict. I know, me so smart.

When something is restricted, good things cannot come in. It’s good to have high expectations, but know that you cannot control all aspects of every situation. Set goals, but keep an open mind. Trust the process and the perfect timing of the universe. That doesn’t mean just chill and sit around waiting for ish to happen, of course. But if you’re consistent in doing the work (whatever that may be) and staying positive, you are entitled to a break.

Yup, I said it. So take your entitled self somewhere and take a damn break.

Not only is the New Year a time to set up goals and prepare, it’s a time to celebrate all you’ve accomplished! Pour yourself a glass of wine, light some candles, and soak, or treat yourself to a night out with friends. This is YOUR year – not so much a brand new start as it is a new point on the continuum of the work you’ve been putting in. So enjoy!

Get clear on where you are. If you aren’t being consistent in doing the work, figure out why. Are you lacking motivation because you don’t know the clear steps to achieve what you want? If so, it seems you have some research to do it. If it’s worth anything to you, you’ll do it.

Do you really want to get started, but think other responsibilities – like a 9-to-5 or familial needs – are taking all your time? Well, your choice is pretty much to continue down the same path and make no real change in your life, or find a way to make time to become the woman you want to be.

At some point, enough will have to be enough, but only you can determine that.

Get up earlier, work on your lunch break, and get more help from hubby or even your oldest kids with the younger ones or the dog. Let the family know that everyday mom will have designated time to herself where she can’t be interrupted, and instead of watching ratchet TV, get ‘er done. If you’re waiting for Jesus to come down and tell you, “Now’s your time to boss up, my child,” you may be waiting a while.

Have you committed to some idea you don’t have much interest in anymore, but feel bad about backing out? Let’s talk about that next.

Know what to let go of and when to do it. It’s time to do some soul-searching to clear the clutter. If you’re holding onto something that no longer serves you or your interests, it becomes just another responsibility. An unnecessary responsibility and when put that way, it’s a burden. Drop the burden and be okay with it. No, I don’t mean your kids. It could be a little early for that.

Sometimes we find ourselves carrying baggage out of habit or guilt. For example, constantly performing the role of someone’s hero can be draining, especially if you aren’t getting much in return. You’ve played the hero and earned your good karma. Now it’s time to love yourself enough to be your own hero.

Set aside old projects and ideas that no longer serve you or your interests. No matter how much time you’ve put into it. If it drains you just thinking about it, but you keep adding it to the calendar (then blow it off once again) take a few minutes to think about your reasons for doing it in the first place and if things have changed. If so, drop it!

Try not to feel pressured by others. Accept the fact that you are your own unique being and respect your time enough to know what it’s worth. Why continue to pursue something that no longer serves your vision? That goes for work, relationships, even fitness programs.

I think it’s time for me to wrap up part 1. I’ll finish the list of 10 ways to productively jumpstart your New Year without the resolutions next Monday. See you then!