Crossover events, vision boards, mission statements, prayer requests, goal setting sessions, fasting and prayer, and resolution lists are some of the ways in which we ushered in the hope of the new year, and the faith that tomorrow holds a different reality if we are intentional, still, and commit to change or alignment.
As the month resolves, the new year has looked different for others, it has made the duality of life even more apparent, that whilst many may be joyous, others are grieving, whilst others sign new contracts, others pace around and try their best to contain the anxiety of an uncertain future – whilst others received the best news, others contended with the heaviness of dreams delayed. All this considered, we often assume that motion only occurs for what is progressive, however, with adjustment, we understand that everything matters – the resilience formed in any transition is the motion – whether it may feel like it or not.
So, how are you adjusting to the new year? Are the days different? Is the excitement still holding up or has the zeal settled to realistic pacing? Well, at a macrosystemic level, we are still tumbling in the waves of political and systematic changes bigger than us, more present and profound when placed against our dissatisfaction – and to this, we hold long conversations in passages, around dinner tables, and online of being worn out and ready for change yet still bystanders in our collective resolve. For the individual, however, there seems to be a sobriety to life that has not been realized in a long time – many expressed that the festive season was different, but so was January too, and perhaps we can assign this to better planning or simply cutting close to living within or even under our means.
By now, I hope we can all understand and agree that adjustment is an evolutionary need we rise to daily – every day, life will plead for adaptability in ways that we might accept, or strongly resist yet left with very little choice. With this, we must embrace the difference in finding our way, others may move along swiftly, yet for others, they may need a bit more encouragement. One is greater than zero, so whichever efforts we have made in adjusting to the new year must matter to you even if society may not be willing to wait. With this said, we encourage framing and structuring your day, week, month and year with intention that is paced to your season, and these are some of the ways we can achieve this;
- As opposed to drafting a long to-do list which may be overwhelming, break down tasks and activities according to your day or week. This may better be achieved on a Sunday evening where you can take some time and allocate tasks in your calendar.
- Organize tasks and activities according to priority – what needs to be resolved now, and what can’t wait until slightly later.
- Schedule in Rest – You need your body to serve you, therefore, care for it well. If you struggle with guilt when you rest, we encourage that you speak to a professional who might be able to assist you in understanding that rest is not a reward, it is a necessity to your survival.
- Understanding Procrastination: struggling with procrastination may be an indication that a task might be overwhelming, familiar, repetitive, or intimidating. Interrogate the reason and supplement this with pro-active ideals.
- Be realistic about your capacity: All of us have a tale about “stretching yourself too thinly” and we can agree that it is a constant work in progress, however, if you were unable to meet a commitment deadline, it is a show of good principle to flag capacity in good time. In a bid not to come across as unreliable, we often relay being overwhelmed at the desperate last minute, hoping that the people around us would interpret our anxiety for effort, however, it derails everyone’s planning process. As best as possible, if we communicate our capacity, it helps everyone adjust to favorable or realistic timelines.
- Do not despise delay: Achieving a goal you had set for yourself gives one a sense of initiative and is rewarding, however, goals must be appreciated as guidelines not hardlines, which simply means that time must also yield to your pacing. If you are unable to achieve a particular goal, what matters is your commitment to try again. Try again as much as you need too, societal pressure is just that, societal – you know what is best for you, and as much as possible, tend to your process.
- Have fun: Goals a personal milestone, take on the adventure with a child-like heart, graze your knees, be vulnerable, fail forward, understand that mastery takes time, dream, and relish each moment. Whilst we are caught up with life and chasing what is next, time ages us, and we miss out on what mattered, life, hope, faith, family, and love….so have fun,
- Have an affirming remainder of your week,
- All the best for what lies ahead for you.
Buyisile Mncina is a registered independent practice counselling psychologist registered with the HPCSA. She obtained her undergraduate degree at the University of Johannesburg and proceeded to the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal and the University of the Witwatersrand for her postgraduate studies.
She is also a researcher and academic and finds interest in sharing knowledge in critical social psychology, child and adolescent psychology, health psychology, psychology of group behavior, and social psychology.
She also participates in advocacy efforts through psycho-educative discussions on social media, print media, TV, and Radio, with inputs on; Daily Thetha, Varied Instagram Live sessions, The Journey Unearthed, Times of Eswatini, True Love, YOTv, Newzroom Afrika, 702, Kaya FM, SAFM, Ligwalagwala, Ikhwekhwezi, 947 , and Rainbow Fm. She has also assisted in expert conversations with SADAG.