New Year, New Me
Written by Gretchen Hirt Gendron, Director of Public Relations
It’s a new year, and many of us have already started working on our personal and professional goals for 2019. January gives us a fresh start to break old habits and make changes to better our lives. However, it’s also easy to feel discouraged when your New Year’s resolutions aren’t sticking and you find yourself starting over after only a couple weeks in. If you’re looking for some inspiration to stay the course, here are my top tips for seeing positive change in your life this new year:
Growth is often at the edge of your comfort zone: Many times, we expect different results with the same actions. I see this all the time in PR when a client asks us to implement the same annual campaign but expects to magically receive new results. It simply doesn’t work that way. You must take risks if you want to grow or improve. Remember, you are mostly confined by the walls you build around yourself. Use this new year to identify areas where you may be too comfortable, shake things up a bit and find an opportunity to grow. Don’t worry about potential failures, worry about the chances you miss when you don’t even try to take that extra step outside of what feels most comfortable.
Change doesn’t typically happen overnight: It takes approximately 21 days to create a new habit. Just like in PR, creating SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound) can help you achieve real results that you can track. Research suggests that a very small percentage of people actually achieve their New Year’s resolutions. Sometimes it’s best to start small – so if your goal is read more, then maybe your first step is reading one new book every month. Clearly define your goals, regularly track your progress, have patience and celebrate every little milestone as a success!
A positive perspective will keep you from giving up: My biggest New Year’s resolution of 2019 is to be obsessively grateful. According to researchers at Harvard University, gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity and build strong relationships. I truly believe a grateful attitude can change your life in every aspect, despite which goals you have reached (or failed to reach). Gratitude can change your life because it makes you appreciate what you have rather than focus on what you don’t have. If you want to practice gratitude, consider keeping a journal to document all that you are thankful for each and every day. No matter how difficult and defeating life can sometimes feel, there is always something to be thankful for. Regularly journaling about the good things in your life can also help prepare and strengthen you to deal with those hard times that the new year might bring.
So here’s to 2019! The end of one chapter and the beginning of another. I hope each of you meet (and exceed) your goals for the new year, take risks despite your biggest fears, follow your dreams with no regrets and practice gratitude, even in the hardest of times.