Mental Health Healing Man

How to Stay Present-Focused During the Holidays

As the new year approaches and people get ready to make vows dedicated to what they will attempt to achieve in the new year, it can be easy to get swept up in the tumult of future-focused idealism. Although planning goals and setting out to achieve them is a noble endeavor, it’s important to remember what happens during this “new year” time for many: resolutions are made and subsequently broken, and guilt ensues.

Now, if you can shrug it off and have a laugh, it’s fine to resolve to do something lofty and then watch that resolution fizzle out. However, many people take their new year’s resolutions very seriously and feel devastated when they find themselves unable to achieve their big-vision goals. What can be done to prevent this sort of thing from happening?

Stay in the now

Instead of focusing on what a great year the next one will be, focus on today. Be mindful of yourself and your reactions to this holiday season as it happens to you. It’s great to plan ahead—practical, even—but being too obsessed with tomorrow can ruin the joy of today. Try to stay in the now, even if your friends and family are all discussing the great things ahead in the new year.

Keep goals manageable

If you vow to lose 100 pounds within 3 months or to travel to each continent in spite of being flat broke this next year, you may find yourself sorely disappointed. Instead of creating out-of-reach goals to achieve, keep your goals manageable. Swear to lose 10 pounds within 3 months, or to begin a savings account dedicated to traveling the world. This way, you can feel a surge of accomplishment when you achieve your goal, rather than a drop of defeat when the unrealistic goal never comes to fruition.

One step at a time

​Little by little, you can achieve even the biggest goals—but it’s important to take it one little step at a time. Instead of reaching for the moon from the outset, reach for a cloud, and then use it as a stepping stone to places farther above. By keeping realism and the present day at heart and in mind, you can attain virtually all of your goals; you just have to remember to set out to do it a little bit at once. That is the key to making a new year’s resolution into a lifestyle change that brings about authentic positivity that can last for decades to come.