The arrival of a New Year, typically brings with it a fresh page of emotions and feelings for everyone to experience. Whether it be, excitement, nervousness, confusion, enthusiasm, frustration, or even curiosity and interest for what's to come. The list goes on. And it's definitely no secret that many may experience a sense of uncertainty and anxiety too, about what the year ahead has in store for each of us.
So, if you're someone feeling anxious about starting the new year, keep reading to discover some quick, stress-reducing tips to help you start the New Year off the right way.
A good way to avoid being stressed and anxious about the new year is to plan ahead. Planning ahead will ensure you have a clear sight on what you aim to achieve and accomplish throughout the year - maximizing your chances of success. It can be as simple as sitting down with a pen and a notebook and creating a mind-map or bullet points of specific visions and desires you'd like to focus on for the year. Prompts like:
- What are some new memories you'd like to create this year?
- Who would you like to spend more time with this year?
- What new skills would you like to learn and spend more time on?
- Are there any specific places you would like to visit?
Could assist you in determining some of your focus areas for the year.
Additionally, it could be useful to highlight significant/important events that you know will be coming up again this year (eg: anniversaries, birthdays, public holidays), to allow yourself to pre-plan and book out any dates before-hand.
Create Realistic Goals
A New Year always calls for new goals to be made. However, don't set yourself up for failure straight away by creating a list of impossibly large and unrealistic goals you won't be able to achieve!
If you are determined to successfully achieve your resolutions in 2024, consider breaking your bigger goals into smaller and simpler goals to make things less overwhelming for yourself and easier to achieve. Doing so, will provide you with a clear visual of your aims for the coming year and will keep you excited and focused, rather than worried and stressed about how you'd achieve your goals otherwise.
For example, if your goal is to lose some weight by the end of the year, start by creating smaller targets such as: improving your protein intake overtime, minimizing sedentary behaviour, going for 30 minute walks in the afternoon each day, drinking about 2L of water a day, etc. Accomplishing these smaller goals, will encourage consistency within your routine and will keep you motivated throughout the year, all while bringing you one step closer to your end goal.
Focus On The Positive
As the New Year is often a time we engage in self-reflection, we often focus on the negatives of the past year and the things we were unable to accomplish. This can lead to an increase in stress and anxiety, with the idea of a new year beginning filling many with a sense of unease and discomfort. This is why it is also important to focus on what went right in the previous year.
The positive experiences we had, the lessons we learned, the new relationships we formed, and so much more. Allowing ourselves to focus more on the positives, instead of dwelling on all the negatives, can assist in creating a more optimistic outlook on the new year and keep those stress-levels low.
Reward Yourself: Small Steps Are Still Progress
“Daily ripples of excellence over time become a tsunami of success” - Robin S. Sharma
No matter how big or small, remember to always acknowledge your successes and achievements! It is important to recognize the progress you are making and reward yourself accordingly. Allowing yourself to be rewarded for your successes will reduce some of the stress and worry you may be feeling regarding the new year, and will serve as motivation and encouragement to keep aiming for your best throughout the remainder of the year.
Have Fun With It!
And finally… just have fun with it! Take a deep breath and as you exhale, let out all the worry and tension you've kept bottled up inside. Every year provides a new chance to improve on yourself, learn and discover new skills and abilities, and create stronger relationships with people around you.
The thought of things not going so right may seem scary and stressful, and it is totally OK to feel this way. However, it is also important to remember that everyone has their equal experiences with both success and failure, and these experiences only help us grow stronger as human beings.
So, make sure to celebrate all your victories, big or small, and cherish the memories you create this year. Be patient with yourself and when things get tough, just remember: you are not alone in this journey.
Happy New Year, everyone!