In the early weeks of the New Year, life can feel like a blank slate brimming with opportunity….or like an incredible weight, crushing you with pressure. Maybe you made a long list of goals, and are overwhelmed by the sheer amount of things you want to get done. Maybe your list feels manageable, but you’re at a complete loss as to where to get started.
If you’re struggling with stress in the New Year, check out these handy tools to help you relieve some of the pressure.
Stop doing “the most.”
Fill in the blank in this phase: “If I only did ____________ this would be a good year.” You’ll likely realize that only a few of your goals actually need to happen, which makes your list a whole lot more doable. I’d recommend separating out anything that didn’t fill in that blank into an “Extra Credit” list of 2019 goals. Then, if you do them, it feels like you’re just kicking ass. And if you don’t, you don’t care because you know they weren’t important.
Prioritizing is the priority.
A simple question to help you prioritize is: “If I could only do one thing on this list this year, which would it be?” Whatever you choose is your #1 priority. Then ask yourself, “If I could only do two things on this list, what would I do?” The next item you choose is your #2 priority. Keep asking that question until you have all the items on your list prioritized.
Be honest with yourself.
Ask yourself, “How am I putting too much pressure on myself right now?” Once you call it out, it’ll become obvious where you’re being unfair with yourself.
Make sure you have what you need.
Ask yourself, “What do I need to let go of the pressure I feel around my goals?” You might be surprised about the answer that comes out for you.
As always, if you’re not as practiced with introspection, exercises like this can be easier to answer in conversation with a friend or a partner. Have them ask you the questions above, and ask them to be silent while you think of your answers. Take a deep breath, and take your time when answering. Sometimes it takes a little bit of silence for you to find the right answers for you.