I was thinking about how my own life goes in waves of feeling productive and ready for change, and times where it feels almost impossible to make changes. I realized that the New Year is genuinely a time in which I feel primed for self-improvement and that it makes sense to me to capitalize on that internal spark. If I were to map out my year in terms of how motivated I feel to enact internal change, it would probably look something like this:

January through February: Strong drive tends to be health and lifestyle oriented.

March and April: These months tend to be hard on me, at least in New Mexico. I think it’s largely because I’m tired of the cold, and think it should be warm, and instead it’s cold and windy. I tend to really miss the ocean and feel stretched thin.

May and June: Another drive spark. It tends to be focused on getting the house sorted (as the kids are home for the summer and it really highlights any areas of overcrowding) and physical goals that are focused on abilities.

August: August is like being buffeted by a windstorm. Three birthdays, school starts, and it’s 100 degrees outside. If I can remember to shower and eat, it’s a success.

September and October: These months seem to be times of buckling down and doing strong, steady work. I have more control over my schedule, and while I’m not generally starting new missions, I can hit my regularly set patterns with confidence.

November and December: 5 family birthdays and 5ish holidays leave me wiped. I tend to do reasonably well keeping things together through the middle of December and by that point I just need to hibernate and drift for a couple weeks until the new year starts.

It seems, in looking at my own life, that rather than creating the social pressure for change (New Year’s Resolutions!!! Get Your Beach Body!!!), that commercialism has just capitalized on an already present internal timeclock in my own system. While it’s totally impossible to suss out how much of that is caused by social/commercial pressures in the first place, I think it’s useful to understand that I feel these drives in my own self, and also that I go through times in which the drive is very low. This gives me the freedom to go ahead and time some time for rest and indulgence throughout the year, knowing that I will be ready to take life by the horns again shortly.

With these things in mind, here are my resolutions:

Overall: Prioritize the small life choices that make my days easier and happier.

  • Create a more mindful morning. Make coffee in the evening. Pick out clothing. Set an alarm. This gives me:
  • Time to meditate. It may be 5 minutes, it may be 20, but creating the conscious habit of mindfulness.
  • Weekly meal planning. Prioritizing getting 2-3 servings of protein and 3-4 servings of green veggies each day, drinking enough water, and staying away from wheat.
  • Stretch before bed.

**A Note: The only NEW thing in this whole she-bang is meditating. All of the other things I already do with some frequency, and the goal is prioritizing doing them instead of allowing them to slip when I get stressed.

Do your times of motivation follow a predictable pattern? Do your goals tend to be specific or systemic?