Navigate through your Resolutions – Little-by-Little – to find success

I’ve never been a big fan of New Year’s Eve. What initially started as being the only single guy in a coupled world evolved over time into a general resentment of the expectations, fuss, and price tag of the night. Most recently, another aspect has stood out: the resolutions.

Year after year, I spend time crafting the perfect goals to set me up for happiness and fulfillment. As a new parent who has often struggled with balance, this year I knew just the goals I would pick:

  • Eat healthy. Meal prep for myself and my family and make at least two meals as a family.
  • Keep fit. Go to the gym and/or run at least three days a week.
  • Sleep well. Get at least seven hours of sleep a night.
  • Meditate. Carve out at least 15 minutes a morning, preferably before my daughter wakes up.

The first two weeks of the year? Golden. Each morning I woke up at 5 am to get in my meditation and workout. Despite waking up early, I still was averaging eight hours of sleep a night. I was meal-prepping every Sunday and Thursday night. In short, I was rocking it.

And then, gradually, those things started fading away. My alarm clock’s siren got pushed back five minutes, then ten, then fifteen. Frozen vegetables started replacing the fresh ones. My gym barcode hadn’t been scanned in weeks. Rather than fight it, it was easier to succumb to it. I had no time. My calendar was full until early May. My to-do lists felt endless.

Before the world turned upside down, all I wanted was a break.

And then suddenly, I found myself in a different, strangely familiar go-mode. Between all the panic I felt, I spent much of my weekends and evenings satisfyingly checking off items from my long-term to-do list—a list I hadn’t touched in months. Little by little, items kept being removed from the list until it dwindled to nothing.

This. Has. Never. Happened.

Eventually, this level of activity started to wear on all of us, and I pressed pause on the long-term listing and refocused on finding balance for myself. What did I start doing? You guessed it: working out and meditating in the morning, meal-prepping with my family, and getting the sleep I so desperately needed.

The irony of my New Year’s resolutions finally happening during this time, of all times, has not escaped me.

This got me thinking about how I can approach the next period of time given what I know. Rather than create lofty goals that I know are unrealistic, I’ve been setting intentions for myself as I navigate this uncharted territory, day by day or hour by hour.

Dive Deep and Resurface

Go down your future-planning mode—for a period of time. I have found myself spending an embarrassing amount of time thinking about the future,  every iteration of “what’s next” that I can imagine, and how I would react in each of those situations. It’s exhausting, and it’s pointless, but it’s also the way my brain is trying to give me what I need by creating a sense of control. I entertain these deep dives for 15 minutes a day, and then I come back up for air. The balance has allowed me to process in installments and then move on.

Releasing Control and Clarity

As a control freak and over-planner, simply naming that I wouldn’t have control over many things or clarity on many parts of my life for the time being was a powerful release. When I find myself wanting clarity on something, I’m able to recognize this desire and more easily put this aside for the time being.

Be Open with Your Person

We all need that person with whom we can be fully authentic and unapologetically feel what we’re feeling. This could be a significant other, family member, or friend. You may not want to go into all of your thoughts, fears, worries, and joys with everyone in your life right now, but having one person to do this with is helpful.

Get What You Need

No matter who you are, you’re juggling a lot right now. Figure out what you need and how you may get it. This can be as simple as taking a bath, making your favorite dessert, going for a solo walk, or reading when the kids are asleep. If you feel more recharged, you’ll be better equipped to show up as you’d like to throughout the day.

Find Nuggets of Joy and Gratitude

This period is hard. That’s that. And, there may be unexpected surprises or things that you wouldn’t have experienced otherwise. Try to also notice those if they float by you. A few of those for me have been:

  • I watched my daughter take her first real steps.
  • My husband and I found stillness watching a series together.
  • We’ve connected with family and friends in new ways.
  • I’ve gotten to spend entire unplanned days with my family.
  • We’ve been able to cook weeknight meals as a family.
  • My husband and I have improved our communication and expectations over household chores.

These guidelines aren’t perfect, and they flex based on our moods, needs, and whatever else may be going on in the juggling act of the day or week. For us, that’s okay—it’s a step. Hopefully, the step you take will be just what you need in that moment.

Jeremy Viland-Rose is a Galileo regional Director. When he’s not leading his team or fine-tuning camp operations, he loves to play with his daughter, go for a run, and watch anything Bravo.