4 Steps to Conquering the New Year

Congrats Mom, you did it! You survived the holiday season! This year was fast and furious, with only about 3 weeks between Thanksgiving the winter break. In that short time, you managed to get your kids through the end of the year rush, exams, sports and other activities all while hosting and attending holiday parties (for kids, grown-ups and families), doing any additional holiday shopping and well let’s face it, just surviving.

My family was no different. This year we drove back and forth between Atlanta and Philadelphia in 48 hours over Thanksgiving, then did the end of the year school rush, complete with my husband traveling two out of those three weeks, two cheer competitions (one out of town), my daughter coming down with the flu of all flus, and my company moving locations three miles down the road. We got through it and the only thing that did not get enough attention was my Orange Theory Fitness membership.

Now we are in that void otherwise known as the last week of the year and we are not really sure what to do with ourselves. You may have recovered from the last month of crazy, or perhaps you are on vacation somewhere enjoying much needed family “down time.” But have no fear, in just another week, all the fun starts up again as the kids head back to school, and life starts to ramp up again. You have about 4 months until the next chaos, otherwise known as May, arrives to stir things up a bit.

Have you made your New Year’s resolution?

No? You haven’t decided you are going to eat better, sleep more, start adding in yoga and meditation in addition to hitting the gym 5 days a week and stop yelling at your kids? I mean really, what kind of woman are you? Surely you have goals, right?

Okay – just joking here. Yes, that does sound pretty ridiculous. However, if you’ve spent any time on social media this week (and of course you have – it’s “compare holiday photos, gift, décor, food” week), you have seen no less than 50 posts about getting in shape in the new year, trying a new supplement or crazy diet, setting “intentions” and goals and yes, those pesky resolutions. Do you know what percentage of people actually keep these resolutions? A University of Scranton study showed that by the 2nd week of February, 80% of people have failed to keep their New Year’s Resolutions. Strava, a popular application used by athletes to track activity, found that some people begin to fail this quest as early as January 12th.


I guess the million-dollar question here is: “What can I do?” As many holiday memes depict, the last week of December is characterized by confusion, disorientation to day and time, and, according to one photo, “Cheese.” How can you stay on target, feel like you have purpose and approach the new year with energy and excitement?

1. Practice self-compassion: you just did more in the last month than most people do in a year. Your kids have been well-fed and cared for, your house is still standing, and you’ve lived to tell your friends any crazy stories that arose over the last few days and weeks. Seriously, give yourself some credit.

2. Make one small change at a time: Pick one thing that you know you can change. Work on making this a habit over the next 3 or 4 weeks. Once you feel good about that one thing, add another small change and repeat. Lots of small changes over time add up to one BIG difference!

3. Phone a friend: No, you are not playing Who Wants to be a Millionaire. You are setting up some accountability. Call, text, email, direct message – do something! Holding yourself accountable is a great way to stick to your change.

4. If you mess up, acknowledge it, then IMMEDIATELY go back to step 1 and start over. Change is HARD. Nobody is perfect. We will all make mistakes (have any of you read the post about the night I yelled at my daughter in front of her friends). A mistake is not an invitation to throw in the towel and give up; it’s an opportunity to learn and move forward.

The road to success is not a linear path. There are curves, twists, turns and bumps all along the way. By following these steps, you will make it through the new year, staying focused on your goals no matter how big or small. Need an accountability partner? Go to the Catalyst Physical Therapy Facebook page and post on our timeline, right under this post. You can search the page if you have trouble finding it. We will respond and be your accountability partner for as long as you need us.

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