As we enter a new year we have the opportunity to start 2021 with a clean slate. We have the opportunity to let go of people or things that were holding us back in 2020 and focus on the controllables and ourselves. While it may seem selfish, it's important that we focus on ourselves and our growth so we can be there for others in need and have a deeper appreciation for what we have in life.
As history shows us, we go into the new year with high intention and high motivation and motivation tends to wear off in the following weeks. Changing ourselves is hard work and when we aren't seeing immediate results we can fall back into our old ways. That's the easy and least resistant path. What happens when our motivation is intrinsic vs extrinsic? Meaning, when our motivation comes from inside ourselves vs extrinsic which is fueled by outside influence. An example would be going to the gym. The intrinsic motivation would be our own health and mental clarity whereas the extrinsic motivation would be trying to develop our 6 pack abs. When we don't see the instant transformation we can develop apathy and make the decision that it's not worth the effort. With intrinsic motivation, there is a greater purpose and more benefits to going to the gym and that will allow you to push through the days that are much harder than other days.
I've found two things that have made me successful in accomplishing what I set out for - one is to start off slow and the other one is to not be overly critical of myself. There were many years where I would start 1/1 off with trying to completely overhaul my life from a physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional perspective. By week 2 I had already quit and caved into the goals I set for myself. It's unrealistic and not fair to ourselves to do a complete 180 instantaneously. If I start off with 1-2 goals for two weeks and then slowly add another goal every week that is much more manageable and allows space to develop that new routine or skill.
The other issue I had was being over critical of myself. If I missed a day I would feel like the wheels came off the train, rolled into a ditch, and caught on fire. In reality, those things certainly didn't happen. We need to give ourselves space to not be 100% all the time. Sometimes life gets in the way or we're just not 100% present. Allow yourself space to pick it up tomorrow. I would just make sure that tomorrow doesn't extend beyond tomorrow.
I would encourage you to step out of your comfort this year. Be more grateful, compassionate, try new things, read, grow, meditate, pray, and allow yourself to have some 'me' time every day. The last thing I would push you to do is be your true self. Remove the mask, speak your truth, and let go of things and people that are toxic to your life.
Have a happy and safe New Years!