(broad)ject self #13: Self-Care When...It's a New Year

Firstly, I have to apologize that there was no (broad)ject self last week. I had plans to write about self-care over the holidays and I was so busy living my own advice, and spending time with my adorable nephews and adored sister, that I completely forgot to write.

As I mentioned two weeks ago, before I flew home to Winnipeg I had made some mental plans for self-care that I wanted to make sure I made every attempt to follow through on. I wanted to do yoga every day, which I ended up doing every day I felt like it. Life here, especially around Christmas, is a whirlwind so on a few nights going to bed came first. I wanted to take some quiet time to myself every day, which I also mostly managed, specifically in terms of taking some time in bed in the morning to ease into the day. Most amazingly, I didn’t even have a Slurpee every day.

I wasn’t perfect. After some weeks of really cutting back on sugar and dairy I instantly overdid it (vacation!) and paid the price. I didn’t read as much as I had hoped. I didn’t connect with people via email, text, or holiday cards (sorry friends!). I didn’t take pictures.

Of course, the great thing about the week after Christmas is that it’s a bit of a “fuck it” cycle before the fresh start that the New Year brings. We can allow ourselves to enjoy some excess, in my case in the form of nice wine I didn’t pay for and cookies, in the knowledge that a blank slate is available to us should we care to take it. I feel uniquely poised to take advantage this year, particularly in terms of diet, thanks to the work I’ve done in the last few months. It turns out that being reminded of how shitty eating badly makes you feel (don’t get me started on the zits!) is an amazing encouragement to get back on the healthy eating wagon.

But look, a new year brings a lot of pressure too. Magazines, Twitter, and Instagram would have us think that you’ll instantly wake up on New Year’s Day a different person who suddenly has the ability to make changes that you haven’t been able to achieve before. The instant that you slip, you feel like a failure and that there’s no point even bothering anymore because you missed your shot. It doesn’t help that January in Canada is basically the worst time ever to change your eating habits, because there’s nothing local and fresh but root vegetables and all the fruit came from across the globe and is tasteless. And those short frozen days don’t exactly do much to motivate you to wake up early to exercise or do anything of substance in the evening beyond huddle under a blanket in the basement and watch TV.

As a recent MBA graduate, I’m treating this upcoming calendar flip as a new quarter, rather than a new year. In that vein, I’ve tried to come up with some goals that I can reasonably accomplish in the next three months and I’ve split them into three buckets; health, personal, and work.

Health

  1. Work with my nutritionist to make the changes she’s recommending.
  2. Work through Yoga with Adriene’s ‘Yoga Camp

Personal

  1. Read a book for at least half an hour a day
  2. Complete the bookstore website reno

Work

  1. Improve my Microsoft Excel chart and graphing skills

Having clear achievable goals that aren’t tied to outcomes that are beyond my control is really important to me. Everything on that list is do-able within my life as it stands, as long as I’m willing to do the work.

So…what are your goals for Q1 2016? If you want to tell me about them, I am all ears.

Self-caringly yours,

Sian