In the aftermath of Christmas, lie credit card bills in waiting, messes to be cleaned up both figuratively and literally, and most spectacularly, a gigantic hole in the heart for so many people. Why is this? In this joyous of all seasons, these moments captured by Kodak, why do we feel like this?
In a nutshell…ginormous expectations that are fueled by sappy commercials, holiday spreads in magazines too perfect to be real and people like Martha Stewart (God bless her), who feel that to achieve a picture-perfect holiday, you have to do it all.
And then there are curmudgeons like me who secretly give Christmas a great big raspberry and wait with bated breath for the whole thing to be over. It’s not that I don’t love my family or the aspect of togetherness, it’s just the expense of it all and the expectation that to “do it right” you’ve gotta spend some big bucks, make it all homemade and give till you bleed. Can someone dial 911; I think I’m having a holiday aneurysm!
But today, thanks be to God, the holidays are behind us. I didn’t meet all of my own expectations let alone those of my children. I was a schmuck toward most of my friends (I didn’t get anyone anything) and yet somehow I survived this holiday ordeal. I got through the fire and to the other side relatively unscathed, do I hear an amen?
The New Year’s has arrived and the whole idea of a clean fresh start is enticing. But with that enticement comes a whole new set of expectations and impediments—perfectionism being the main one.
This is the year, you think to yourself, I’m gonna lose weight, get organized, save more money…name that tune. And ever present, among those lofty goals that somehow (without a plan) some way (without any thought) it will indeed get accomplished. This time anyway.
And without a shadow of a doubt, we believe we can have everything done and accomplished by January 31, the latest. We go to the gym with our brand, spanking new gym membership, and by week 1 after going for 5 days in a row, with muscles aching and lots of sweat, barely get thru week 2 and by week 3, we’ve all but thrown in the towel. We do the same thing with our diets, the same things with our get organized now ideas… the whole nine yards. Nothing works, we kick ourselves, we feel bad and we whine.
There is one answer and one answer only to all of these problems and a way to make all of these goals attainable. In a word (yes, we’ve made it A word) Babysteps. You cannot scrap your life and start over. Those pounds you wish you could wish away will not leave without consistent baby steps. Your house won’t get organized without them either.
Today is a new day with all its possibilities just waiting for us. If you string together a plan, and use baby steps and a timer to chart your journey, chances are better you’ll enjoy success. If you use the crash and burn method (AKA all or nothing) you’ll most likely be more discouraged than before.
Babysteps. The whole world of goals both big and small have been accomplished by incrementally crawling, then taking little steps till finally, you can run. It’s not an overnight accomplishment, but rather one you can chart and watch. How fun is that?! The process is what makes it all worthwhile and believe it or not, that in and of itself is its own set of rewards.
Here’s to 2012!!
Leanne Ely, Your Dinner Diva
Saving Dinner one Meal at a Time
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