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New Year, New You?

New Year, New You?

I think we can all agree that we are glad that 2020 was perhaps not “our year” like so many of us thought on DEC 31, 2019. We have all shown a tremendous amount of flexibility and perseverance over the past year as COVID rapidly changed our world around us. A great article by Brad Stulberg in Outside Online talks about how moving through the pandemic is similar to being in an endurance event (check out the article for some great mental cues to stay focused and positive). With the negative impact that COVID brought to the world and our lives directly, that isn’t to say that a lot of growth opportunities did not come about. For me personally, I learned just how spread thin I was across a few areas of my life. The pandemic forced me to slow down. Take a moment to breathe in, take a walk for the hell of it, and try to enjoy the little things in life. With the good, there were also negative side effects. For me, the largest one was around the ‘need’ to be on and engaged with social media. For the start of 2021, I was really struggling with what one thing that I wanted to focus on for the year would be. I am not one to make resolutions, but more New Years Initiatives. I finally decided that I wanted to continue to be more present. I am doing so in the following ways, and believe it or not, there isn’t any additional time commitment (of magnitude).

The two key things I am doing, and challenge those of you to do as well, are as follows:

  1. Take a social media detox. This does not mean you have to delete your account(s) totally, but rather simply delete the app(s) from your phone (if possible). If you absolutely need to get on social media, most, if not at all, platforms are accessible via PC/MAC. Personally, I have noticed a tremendous amount of sudden free time. Where I would once mindlessly scroll through Instagram and/or Facebook, I am not finding myself not reaching for the phone, but rather listening to some music or simply reading a few pages of a book.
  2. The other item that I have incorporated into my daily routine is journaling. I am going the route of doing so in a handwritten manner instead of typing. This allows me to disconnect in the morning or evening (or some days, both). It helps me write out what my thoughts, stressors, or just overall mood is or was for the day. Identify some things you are thankful for and some things you felt you did really well. Be proud of your actions and what you accomplish.

Now you are probably reading this and say, you said I wouldn’t need any extra time. Well, if you take the social media detox to heart, you will uncover a fair bit of free time (at least in my experience). My screen time has reduced by 5 ½ hours on social media platforms in the last two weeks. I did not realize how often I was active on social media until I saw that sobering fact.

As January has come and gone now, remember it is not too late to continue to challenge yourself to become a better version of yourself. I challenge each of you to give up social media for 30 days and journal during that time. You may be surprised at how much better you feel at the other end!

Stay well,