Due to holidays, traditions and the unconscious habits many people share culturally, a new year is something that most folks anticipate. The lead up and the actual beginning of a new year are typically used as a new beginning, a fresh start or the end of what once was in someone’s life. A promise to self or others can be something as small as promising to work out more often in the New Year or completely getting rid of everything toxic in your life, including people. 

Change is something that is not as easy to do. Even if you know you should do something because it will have a positive affect on your life does not mean it will be easy. Change is necessary and inevitable, but it takes hard work. Doing what is right and better for yourself and your life is a daily effort. 

Self-motivation is a practice that takes time. In life, there are things that have to get done no matter what. How we feel and what may be going on in our personal lives may be secondary because work has to be done in order to survive. How we feel and the things that cause those feelings are important to deal with, but many do not have the time to slow down and fix what is within themselves. 

Often, problems exist outside of our control. It is not possible to control outcomes and other people.. So much is going on in the world and in everyone’s individual lives, but taking the time to acknowledge a problem, its cause or feelings associated with it is not our first priority. Some may not even know how to approach those feelings and situations.

A few days before 2020, I paid attention to my thoughts about the upcoming new year. I put a lot of pressure on myself to try and force a new positive reality before the clock struck midnight. My struggle prior to the beginning of 2020 taught me that everything takes time. I do not have to be disappointed if I do not follow through with the many New Year resolutions I set for myself. 

Applying new practices, new habits, and breaking old ones are three tasks that do not magically become a part of your life. It is important that I remember many resolutions can be broken down into smaller things to work on. 

The relief a fresh start and a new year sounds good until you have to put resolutions into action. It is easy to be hard on yourself when new practices become difficult to add into your daily routine. Abandoning your resolutions because you are overwhelmed and going back to living life as you once can seem like the right solution. 

I decided to stop looking at the New Year as a starting point. I actually started my resolution before the New Year began. I wanted to stop waiting for a particular time to do something that will positively benefit my life, especially if it makes me feel good mentally, physically, and emotionally. 

Working out is something that I have always enjoyed. I also love being outside walking and cloud watching. The combination of fresh air and the warmth of the sun while walking, and doing crunches on the floor at home gives me the satisfaction of knowing these things are good for my body. My new understanding that life does not have to be reset or improved on January 1, 2020 enabled me to start working out a couple days a week, even before the first of the year.   

Even though I am working out and putting in the effort does not mean I will see results right away. What I should focus on instead is that I feel good during exercise and that I afterwards mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. 

In 2020, be gentle with yourself. Don’t just hit the reset button only to fail.  Focus on the positive results during the process.  

Baleigh Johnson has a degree in Journalism Mass Communication from North Carolina Central University. She has experience in editing, writing, and coming up with creative ideas for stories and projects.

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