The Four Biggest Mistakes You Can Make This Week

Yesterday, the focus was on what to do. What can I say? I like to start out on a positive note!

So today, you guessed it: let’s review what not to do, simply because we’re into the last few days of the year.

  1. Bingeing

Whether we’re addressing eating, exercise, post-holiday sale shopping or generally having the attitude that we’re eeking out the last few days of bad habits, the bottom line is overdoing it, any of it, is still overdoing it. It doesn’t matter that we’re about to begin a New Year on Friday. While we can do our best to convince ourselves that a “New Year equals a New You”, there’s just no point in going to excess this week. Practicing bad habits, and even worse, knowingly doing so to extreme measures with the assumption that you’ll make up for it later can lead to a New Year’s Day which feels more like the first day in jail than the first day of a fresh start. Not only does it behoove us to not binge on actions, we’re also better served if we don’t binge on goal setting. Many of us compose a list of New Year’s resolutions that is longer than our child’s list to Santa. New Year’s resolutions are not bucket lists, they’re statements of short-term intentions. Therefore, choose one or two items at most, and focus on completing those[1].

  1. Taking Punitive Measures

180 degrees away from bingeing is to take the approach that instead of overdoing it, you’ll take ultra strict measures this week to diet off those last five pounds, quit that job you’ve been hating without a plan lined up or giving away your last worldly possession to repent for the overspending you did during that mega gift-buying week in early December. Just as every action has an equal and opposite reaction, being uber-tough on yourself this week can cause exactly what you don’t want to occur on day one of 2016 to happen-a feeling of not being able to hang in there to all those rules you’ve haphazardly set up for yourself on a whim.

  1. Trying to squeeze in every last little thing

Ok, so you didn’t make it to that last peak you were planning to climb with your friends, you didn’t exactly hit your goal of getting through a novel every month and you still haven’t organized that awful junk drawer in your office. Is now really the best time to attempt to do it…all? Probably not. While you may get these tasks done, staying up to all hours of the night just to say you’ve finished all you’d planned for this past year may not be worth it. Instead, make your fresh start by lining up what still needs to be completed and then decide which are most important and urgent. Chances are, they can all be graded in degrees of relevance and then accomplished on a more relaxed time frame.

  1. Missing the balance of relaxing and rejoicing

When all is said and done, it is, in fact, the last week of a year. Many are on vacation, or staycation, perhaps with at least a limited work schedule and more free time than a typical week may offer. Take the time to reflect on what the year has brought, who and what you are grateful for and what things you’d like to see change in the not too distant future.

[1] Winch, Ph.D. Guy. “5 Common New Year’s Resolution Mistakes and How to Fix Them.” The Huffington Post., n.d. Web. 28 Dec. 2015