Ever wondered why there seem to be a distinct feeling of gloominess that accompanies the closing of the year? Even more noticeable is the mixed feeling that the coming of a new year brings with it. The end of year holidays is a profound period, not only is it marked with several celebrations, it represents a time of retrospection on the activities of the previous year. This could include resolutions and goals that have not been fulfilled, targets that were not hit and wishes that did not come to pass.
Even in other instances where things seemed to go exactly as planned, there is always a feeling of anxiety and possible fear about what’s coming next. It is important however, to understand that all of these feelings are perfectly normal, but letting them linger for too long could hinder any possible hope for progress in the New Year. Understanding the reasons for these feelings of sadness, anxiety and sometimes inadequacy allows you to adopt a positive mind-set and pave way for your new goals. A significant cause of these “blues” comes from the drain that accompanies the stressful activities and expectations around the festivities. From the parties and family gatherings, we end up involving ourselves so much that the emotional and physical drain becomes so profound. How then do you keep these low emotions at bay and prepare yourself for a great year ahead? Here are 4 simple steps to get rid of the negativity and attain a positive mind-set for the New Year.
- Acceptance- Even if these emotions do not comes from a sense of failure or inadequacy, the first step here is to accept that the year truly has come to an end and allow yourself to welcome whatever feeling may accompany it. This means that rather than avoid these feeling, let yourself embrace it and internalize the fact that it is okay to feel this way. Whether these feeling are right or wrong, the outcome it has depends on whether or not we respond positively to them and therefore, you must allow yourself time to heal mentally, emotionally and physically from all the activities of the past year. By doing this, you allow yourself to move on to greater exploits.
- Appreciate the journey and believe in the process: while accepting these emotions, it is important to take pride in what you have right now. Perhaps your goals were not met or you didn’t get to do all you had planned for the previous year. But a quick look at other aspects of your life will show you the small victories you have achieved. Maybe you gained a new friend, maybe you enrolled for a class, or find out a new delicacy you really liked, or perhaps finally got to find more peace at work. While these may not be exactly what you had in mind when you set out the previous year, you could definitely find little things to be happy about. Believing in the process also lets you gain perspective on what things really are, you learn valuable lessons like patience and resilience while understanding the need to make plans to reach your goals.
- Set goals: What better way to start off a new chapter than to make out plans. It is important to keep in mind that these goals must not only realistic and achievable, but they must come with actual plans and steps on how to get there. The perfect way to ensure that these low times are kept at bay is to have a year filled with both small and big victories to provide insight in times of retrospection that allows you to find joy in the little achievements. Goals also serve as valuable motivation as they help you to put the pedal to the metal and move forward. Therefore, create bankable plans to accompany your goals and move boldly into the New Year.
- Avoid regrets: There is a big difference between self-evaluation and regrets. While the former allows you to gain valuable perspective on both the positive and negative aspects of your life, the latter simply focuses on the negative and puts you in a constant loop of negative self-talk. In order to avoid this mental negativity, you should learn to understand that there is always room for improvement and the fact that a new year lies ahead of you is enough evidence for the possibility of substantial improvement. Therefore, let go of everything that has happened, accept it and move on.
Having learnt how to let go of the “new year blues” you should then decide to step into the year with confidence and high spirits. What have you decided to leave behind? Have you set your goals for the New Year yet? What are you choosing to incorporate into your life this year? It’s time for a fresh start and a time for great accomplishments. Have a blissful celebration and a happy new year!