Before you jump into the new year, consider these seven things you can do to start the new year off well. Don't worry! You can thank me later. I wear a size 9 in shoes. 😉
WRITE down three self affirmations for January 2023 and repeat them throughout the month.
For each subsequent month, create three new affirmations.
Trust me! It works, and we have research to prove it.
LIST the top five things you did well during most/all of 2022.
Decide if you want to maintain these things. Just because you did them well doesn't mean that they weren't stressful or difficult to pull off. For example, if you sent a birthday card to every member of your family in 2022, did this bring you joy or stress? While the gesture is nice, it may be hard to keep up if you have a large family like mine.
Often, we look at our failures and how we can correct them as we transition into the new year. However, you did some incredible things in 2022. Those should be considered too.
LIST the things you want to improve in 2023.
These should be things that you can measure. "Be nicer" is hard to measure. However, you can certainly plan to do something that demonstrates an improvement. For example, can you commit to one random act of kindness each month?
DEVELOP a plan for better sleep.
You may be thinking, "how does DrC know that my sleep regimen is lacking?" Given that more than 50% of U.S. Americans have trouble falling or staying asleep, I'm guessing you might be one of them. I've got a 1 out of 2 chance of being right. 🤷🏽♀️
And, just in case you didn't know, sleep problems and dysfunction are connected to anxiety and depression. Could your mental health symptoms be eased simply by getting the proper rest?
Hint: Deciding NOT to take your phone to bed is a great way to get better sleep. Too much stimulus before bed can interrupt your ability to fall asleep.
CREATE a self-care plan.
Your plan should have daily, weekly, and monthly self-care practices.
Also, be sure to write this plan down. Research shows that we are more likely to achieve goals that are written down.
Put it in a place where you are constantly reminded of it or schedule your phone to send you a reminder about the practices on the plan.
DECLUTTER your spaces (home and work)
Clearing out your spaces can improve your mood, decrease feelings of overwhelm, and help you focus.
LIST the people who bring you joy and genuinely support you.
Commit to spending your time with these folks. Spending time with people who increase your anxiety or negatively impact your self-esteem won't create a picture of health for you. Social support is vital to mental health.
By the way, I'm not suggesting that you cut off ties with family members or friends; I'm certainly not suggesting that you ghost them. However, I am suggesting that you limit your contact.