As we head into a New Year after facing a year full of uncertainty, stress, and unprecedented times in every way, we may feel pressure to commit to making big changes in our health emotionally, physically, and spiritually.
While it is always important to establish a blueprint of goals and specific steps in reaching your goals, it’s equally important to set your goals in a way that guarantees success and forward momentum.
I am guilty of the all-or-nothing method in goal-setting, especially following almost a year of being out of the normal everyday routine because of pandemic living.
What I have found, through trial and error, to be the most effective and rewarding way to meet long-term goals on a daily basis is what I call the 10-minute method.
For example, oftentimes on my list for the day is to exercise, meditate, organize home and office space, and keep up with cleaning. In the all-or-nothing method, we usually set up unrealistic expectations for ourselves, causing burnout and failure.
We may commit to an hour-long workout, doing all the laundry at once, spending a day cleaning the house, and adding on some spiritual care at the very end of the day, which tends to get forgotten and put off.
The 10-minute method works because it’s short and sweet. I always remind myself: 10 minutes is better than 0 minutes.
So, what that looks like day-to-day is 10 minutes in the morning of organizing my space (pick up, put laundry in, wipe down a surface, take out the trash).
I then may decide to do a 10-minute bike ride, walk around the neighborhood, or a quick yoga session. Those 10 minutes of movement refresh and refocus my energy.
I then may use any time in the car when I am alone to do some meditation. Obviously, I don’t close my eyes, but I use the time and space to just enjoy the silence or do some affirmations and prayer to ground myself for the day.
I have learned that blocking off large chunks of time to get things done, including self-care, ends up getting put off, or by the time I show up for the time slot, I am drained, and self-care looks like detachment and exhaustion.
We need to learn how to work smarter, not harder. This means plugging in for each day, taking small windows of time to make us feel like we run our day in a proactive, thoughtful way, versus reactive, anxious, and stressed out.
While 2020 taught us all so many lessons, perhaps as we begin 2021, we can commit to showing up for each day in the way we need to feel healthy and strong in every area of our lives. That starts with identifying what you need each and every day to feel balanced and energized. That list is different for everyone. You may need some quiet, alone time daily, while your family members may need time to connect with loved ones or friends daily. There is no right or wrong when it comes to identifying what you need daily.
Take some time to think about what really matters to you day-to-day and use 10-minute blocks to frame your day in a way that works for you.
You are worth it!
Meghan Fritz is a psychotherapist practicing at Fritz, Stanger & Associates. For more information, visit fritzstanger.com