New Year, New Pressure


Does the thought of a new year make you feel excited or pressured? Or both?

Just like the sparkly bubbles in a champagne glass, every New Year’s Eve, there is an internal tension of excitement and pressure that rises up to the surface in my life.

I love a fresh start and anything that is a catalyst for that: moving, the change of seasons, a new school year – even Mondays, the beginning of a new week. There is just something about a clean slate that subconsciously whispers in my ear that there is endless room for possibility, hope and change. That whatever has been, doesn’t have to be anymore. Whatever I want to change or improve, I can. I feel empowered and excited at the thought! So much so, that I want to do all things and all at once.

Then, it hits me. In order for all of those new exciting things to come to fruition, I have to make them happen. And the pressure is on …

By January 2nd, I have a great sense of urgency to: already have short-term and long-term goals established for both personal life and business, my refrigerator filled with healthy food for a new diet, my list of books to read planned out, and a cute planner sitting on the end table filled to the brim with ideas, hopes and dreams for 2017 all written out. Even though it is only the 2nd day of the year, I almost feel like I should be well on my way to accomplishing something grand, or at least one thing on my resolution list, or I’m falling behind.

“Here’s what I suggest to those women who want to do everything, but at the same time want to live a balanced life: You’ll die right on time no matter what you do. If you really need to get something done, you will have enough time to do it; it all doesn’t need to be done in one day. For example, if you want to have a successful career and four kids, do them in sequence, not at the same time. Either one puts enough stress on your life; both at the same time will exhaust you.” – Meg Meeker, M.D., Author of Strong Mothers, Strong Sons

That’s me! I want to do everything but also stay balanced. Sounds doable right? Wrong. I read and re-read this quote. In it, I found so much freedom. Freedom to keep my 8 week old son, my family and relationships a priority instead of cowering in a corner with my computer cranking out tasks or burying my head in books. It encouraged me to embrace the season I’m in. I realized that the extra pressure we often put on ourselves to do all, be all and right now, zaps us of the fun and enjoyment we could actually have in the process of accomplishing our goals as well as convolutes the season of growth we should be in.

There is a season for everything and the sooner we can identify the season of life we are in, whether it be, say, career-focused, family-focused or health-focused, the sooner we can capitalize on our potential within that season. If we are in a season of life where we should be focusing on our health due to an upcoming surgery, but instead, we focus on our career – our health will suffer. We just can’t do all and be all, all at once – something will suffer.

Saying ‘yes’ to one thing means saying ‘no’ to another.” – Sean Covey

What season are you in right now?

There is a certain amount of pressure needed to perform, but unnecessary pressure inhibits our ability to laugh at ourselves, be ourselves and be present with others because we are so focused on checking our boxes off. That pressure can also be debilitating causing us to procrastinate, give up on our goals entirely or ride the roller coaster of inconsistency. Before we know it, we have the same goals that pop up on our New Year’s resolutions list each year.

What unnecessary pressure(s) have you placed on your life?

Maybe you aren’t feeling the added pressure yet, but it is likely that you will at some point. This year, when the pressure is insurmountable, lets remember to be present with people, give ourselves grace, maintain our priorities and have fun in the process of accomplishing our goals while never losing sight of who we are.

Happy New Year!!!

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