The start of the New Year is a time of great promise -- but it can also be a stressful time. From dealing with the after-effects of the actual New Year’s party to figuring out how to get started on new projects, the first days of the year can be fraught with discomfort and anxiety.
Like many things though, the way to survive and thrive is to plan ahead. If you’re worried about getting on track after the New Year’s festivities, here are some ways to get started.
Don’t overdo it
New Year’s Eve doesn’t always fall on a weekend, and if you’re forced to go into the office the next day, you’ll have to use all of your powers of resistance not to get carried away at the New Year’s party. If you’re going to be drinking, pace yourself. Avoid shots or strong drinks, and be sure to eat a hearty meal before you go out. Later in the evening, have another snack, and drink plenty of water. By staying hydrated and fed and avoiding drinking more than one drink per hour, you’ll find it’s a lot easier to survive the day after the big party.
Set goals ahead of time
Plenty of people create New Year’s resolutions for their personal lives, and it’s a good thing to do in your professional life as well. If you’re going to do it though, don’t wait until the actual New Year begins. In the month leading up to the New Year, take some time out to set a few goals, using the “SMART” acronym. SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound, meaning your goal will have a specific outcome, it will be clear when you’ve completed it, it’s something you’re actually able to complete, and that there’s a specific date by which you’ll have the goal completed. For example, you might set a goal to secure five clients by the end of January. You’d then lay out the details of how you’re going to get there, including what you’ll do on a daily and weekly basis to attain the goal.
The idea here: By developing your goals long before the New Year, you’ll be able to get started on them right away, without having to spend excess energy on the planning phase. That will help you get right on track.
Learn a new stress relief technique well before the holiday
If you’re like a lot of people, you’ll have plenty of work to catch up on after all the time off during the holidays; lots of emails to respond to, projects to finish, new ones to start and so on. That’s bound to make you feel overwhelmed. To handle it like a champion, start a new stress relief technique even before the holidays hit. Whether it’s practicing yoga, going for a run, learning to meditate or something else, having that stress relief technique already in place will make it easier to really lean on it when you need it.
Some of the stresses of the New Year are going to be inevitable, but by taking some time out ahead of time to plan for those eventualities, you will most certainly have a much easier time.
Image courtesy Christmas Stock Images, Flickr