Today’s Solutions: October 24, 2021

New Year’s resolutions are supposed to give you a motivation boost as you enter the new year, but these extra goals can easily start to feel like just another obligation on top of your already busy days—inadvertently causing more stress. While there’s nothing wrong with having a goal for the new year, you shouldn’t push yourself too hard to stick with that goal. With that in mind, how can we focus on our New Year’s resolutions while still allowing ourselves some grace? Let’s start with these three simple acts.

Remind yourself of past and present achievements: Reflecting on how far we’ve come lends us the momentum to pursue what’s next. A policy of gratitude shifts our laser-beam focus from where we want to be, to where we are right now.

Celebrate the small steps: Another way to avoid burnout is to celebrate incremental progress. Every long journey is a series of small steps. In the source article for this story, which was written by YES Magazine blogger Natasha Zartman, she talks about her desire to quit her baristas job in order to write full time. She says that while it may take decades to publish her first novel, every blog post written is a small step in that direction. And that alone is worth celebrating. As 2020 approaches, reflect on the steps you’ve made in the past year—both big or small.

Appreciate the journey: Slowing down for gratitude can feel like a frivolous use of our time. However, Harvard studies show that intentional thankfulness makes us happier—and happiness is the reason for goals in the first place. Start by journaling about the things you love or sharing a 2019-Top-Ten List with friends. This will help pave the way for a happier New Year in 2020—ultimately preventing the burnout that comes when we forget to be grateful for where we are and what we have. 

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