I was born and raised in Hawaii so for most of my life, the only seasonal changes I experienced were summer, when it felt hot as Hades, and winter, when it was slightly cooler and rainy. I was in for a rude awakening when I moved to Utah right before winter season in 2011 with my yearlong wardrobe of shorts, t-shirts, and slippers (which I have since learned that most people around here call flip flops). Since then, I have been better prepared with winter clothes, anti-freeze liquid for my car, and salt to sprinkle on my driveway and I’ve learned the hard way to not run or even walk briskly on ice, slow down on the freeway, and shovel the snow in the driveway before it sticks.
As we approach the New Year, we will soon, if not already, be bombarded by the announcements and declarations of New Years resolutions. Like many others, I too have a history of joining in on the excitement to improve and progress at this time of year. This is how it usually pans out: In the first few days following January 1st, I set out to get a cute planner, new calendar, and download the latest apps to help me stay motivated and accountable because well, “failing to plan is planning to fail”. The first couple of days, weeks even, typically go as planned because the adrenaline rush keeps me pumped to stay focused, to keep my eye on the prize. But like many others, it doesn’t take much for me to feel discouraged about my resolutions, usually towards the end of January, when I don’t have my “summer bod” or all my debt isn’t completely paid off yet. Thoughts like, ‘If I can’t do it quickly or perfectly, why bother at all?’ start to creep in. This mentality is known as the all-or-nothing mindset and it can be a slippery slope. All-or-nothing thinking patterns will inhibit me and you from not only achieving your goals but also from learning, living, and thriving while working towards it.
Back when Sheryl Sandberg, who is the current chief operating officer of Facebook, was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society at Harvard, she felt like she had everyone fooled and that “one day soon, the jig would be up.” Even after the success of her book Lean In, she said, “There are days when I wake up feeling like a fraud, not sure I should be where I am.” Maya Angelou wrote eleven books and won several prestigious awards, yet, she often thought, “I’ve run a game on everybody, and they’re going to find me out.” Even after becoming the first Hispanic Supreme Court justice, Sonia Sotomayor frequently questioned if she measured up throughout her years at Princeton, in law school, and in her professional jobs.
The topic of self-care is trending these days. Strategies to promote self-care are openly shared in numerous online platforms, making it easily accessible for anyone searching for tips on nourishing their personal well-being. A quick Google search on “self-care” will yield a myriad of opinions and suggestions on how to prioritize personal needs. I am a strong advocate for self-care so the widespread attention that this topic is getting makes me so glad that people are making it a priority. (more…)