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Dealing with Advice Overwhelm at New Year

30/12/2016 16:20

At this time of year, when many of us resolve to be better, it can be tough to know where to start.

We are bombarded with articles advising us to change and telling us exactly how to do it: '17 ways to change your life in 2017,' '5 ways to make a habit stick,' and 'the diet that will help you lose 14 pounds in 7 weeks'. The list goes on ...

It's overwhelming and confusing as media outlets, social networks and everyone around us seems to capitalise on the 'New Year's Resolution' trend.

Last week I was listening to a podcast that told me to focus on one thing at a time, to choose the one thing that I love and only do that. I was confused. So much of the advice that had previously been given on this podcast I had aligned with, and taken on board, but this advice, I did not get.

My instant reaction was to try and work out which one thing I should choose. I debated giving up yoga, stopping reading or only reading marketing books, and selling my bike. I wanted to follow what the podcast host was telling me to do. After all, they are the 'experts' and I am just me. What did I know?

As I was having this internal battle with myself, I remembered the phrase that I had dismissed as 'cliche' many times before:

Take what you need.

This phrase is steeped in addiction history but is applicable to everyday life, especially towards the end of December and the beginning of January when it seems we are bombarded with constant pressure to improve ourselves.

It's worth remembering as we start the year, and at any time of year, the content we read and advice we receive is just that. Advice. Not instruction.

You can take what you need from articles, from how-to's, from well meaning friends. Pick and choose what you want to do and what advice you want to implement in to your life.

No one knows you better than you know yourself.

You can choose to implement two tips, or all 17. You can choose five New Year's Resolution's, just one or none at all. No doubt you'll be able to find an article somewhere or a friend that agrees with your decision regardless.

This year I will not be choosing 'one thing' to focus on. I will be continuing to explore the many things I love: yoga, writing, reading every book I can get my hands on and my day job.

I know what I like, the things I enjoy and what I want to give my time energy and focus too. I know myself far better than a podcast host and much better than the thousands of articles telling me how to change my life.

Over the forthcoming weeks, no doubt I'll spend time reading the content overload but, I'll be taking what I need from the advice I'm given and only making the changes that feel right for me.

I write about wellbeing, self acceptance and mindful drinking on my blog. Check it out here: Girl and Tonic

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