Every year I find myself saying the same thing, “How is it December already?” This year has flown by and it hit me all at once. Another year and my brain can’t seem to shake the idea that because the year is concluding, the chances of me starting something new has to wait until the new year. But who makes these rules? Why wait when you can start now!
I can decide yes, I am changing, I am taking charge. So now comes the time to assess my perspective of wants, needs, goals and mental health. Why does December make things feel so final? What is holding me back from moving forward with productivity and positivity? The end of the year and the holidays can be difficult. Some people are experiencing tough situations, whether it’s life’s stresses, loss of a loved one, pet or job, money issues or health issues and in a time when the whole world is living in a pandemic, aren’t we all collectively living through something?
To beat this December despair let’s do one of my favorite exercises for mental health, THE MIND DUMP.
Step ONE, Yes, just like that, make a list and check it twice. Discover if your thoughts are naughty or nice (just kidding, stay focused). Write it down, on your phone, on paper, in a notebook, on a napkin, just get it out of your head. Any thought that comes to mind, any stress, any bill you have to pay, groceries you have to buy, appointment you have to make, goal you want to achieve, trip you want to take, chore you’ve been putting off, empty it all. Go ahead and unburden yourself of all that you want, all that you feel, all that has to get done to make the life you want to live HAPPEN.
Step TWO, Prioritize. The garbage has to get taken out, the rent has to be paid but take the time to recognize what really HAS to get done now. For me, physical health is a priority. Getting my annual physical, making all the other Dr. appointments, creating my meal plan, and making a goal to change one thing that results in better physical fitness. If you are not physically well, can you really get anything done?
Step THREE, Now that you have divided, you must CONQUER! Take your big list of to-dos and schedule them by priority with a concrete deadline. Post them on the fridge, in your planner, in your phone with an alarm and send it to a friend or spouse so that you can be held accountable. When you hear that alarm and know you are going to get a phone call at the end of the day about your scheduled tasks, I don’t know about you but that is pure motivation for me. I don’t want to answer that call. I think this will work for you as well. What do you think the likelihood of you sticking to your schedule will be?.
FINALLY, when reviewing and prioritizing your mind dump, here are 4 words for you to remember: Delegate, Eliminate, Automate, Simplify. Delegate it to someone else, Eliminate unnecessary tasks, Automate whatever you can and Simplify the process wherever possible. Oh My! How is December looking for you now?. ‘Tis the season to get it done.
I say all that is left is to have a little faith. The definition of faith is the complete trust or confidence in someone or something. Let that someone be you and God. This is the season of giving to others but don’t forget to give to yourself. Give yourself love, give yourself grace, give yourself permission to believe change is possible. It can be done, you can start anew and the end of the year will be wonderful! Merry Christmas from all of us here at Gibbons Family Fitness :)