Stop Waiting For January!

Stop Waiting For January!

Stop Waiting For January

Have you ever said, “Starting in January, I will…”? In December, a lot of people throw in the towel for the year. They wait until January rolls around to find that renewed sense of purpose and focus, only to have it dwindle as the year goes on. Priorities shift, circumstances change, and life always seems to somehow get in the way.

Next year, I’ll go back to school.
Next month, I’ll start going to the gym.
Next week, I’ll focus on growing my business.
Tomorrow, I’ll start prioritizing my mental health.

The excuses go on and on. But let me ask you this…

If you can’t do it today, what hope do you have on January 1st?

You don’t have to wait until New Year’s Day to get clear on goals, priorities, and habits that will set you up for success.

I know this time of year can be a time of anxiety, stress, and a general feeling of overwhelm in the midst of the nostalgia, joy, and peace. On top of that, this time of year tends to be more difficult for those suffering from anxiety, depression, ADHD, mood disorders, and any other mental health issue. We still can’t get an accurate reason why, but this time of year is always tremendously hard with Evan. It then ripples and creates disruption for the rest of the family.

But, life will give you what you accept. It’s a choice! And it’s one only you can make.

Shift your mindset with these 5 strategies to finish the year strong! 💪🏻


#1 – Keep the Holidays “Happy”

The word “happy” can set the expectation that everything is supposed to be perfect. Well, guess what? Expectations are the death of happiness. When we are angry, frustrated, or disappointed, it’s usually because our expectations and reality are out of alignment. Just remember, you are doing a kick-ass job. Take time to pat yourself and others on the back for all of the things that have been accomplished.

Focus on the delicious moments, celebrate what’s most important, and be kind to yourself. If we use perfection as our litmus test for happiness, we end up missing the boat. Make progress your target for success instead.

#2 – Presence > Presents

We spend at least fifty percent of our waking time mind-wandering and not focused on the present moment. When our mind wanders, we lose touch with the present and go into endless thought loops about the past or future. While doing his PhD research at Harvard, Matt Killingsworth invented an iPhone app called Track Your Happiness that captures feelings in real time. He collected over 650,000 real-time reports from more than 15,000 people. He found that people are substantially less happy when their minds are wandering than when they’re not. In fact, as it turns out, people are less happy when they’re mind-wandering no matter what they’re doing.

You can get in to more of the data from the study by watching his TED Talk. Being present with others doesn’t just mean time spent. It means being intentional and deliberate about your actions; bringing your full self to the interaction. Remember the reason for the season and cherish your loved ones.

#3 – Define Success and Work Backwards

Pretend you could wave a magic wand. When you go back to work after the holidays – after the family visits, parties, and a few too many cookies – how would you like to see things at work and at home? Work backwards from there. It’s easy to get busy being busy. The question “What do I want my life to look like?” is enormous and scary. But let’s face it, we’re choosing our direction every day, every hour.

All too often, we land somewhere, draw a bull’s eye around ourselves, and declare it a victory rather than deliberately taking time to identify where we want to end up and creating a clear path to get there.

#4 – Create a system of accountability

Accountability simply means ownership. If you own something, you authorize yourself to take control of it, and immediately change from being a victim to being in the driver’s seat. Many people say “But I can’t make that change because…” Inaction is still a choice.

It’s not: I can’t work out because I’m already working 18 hour a day.
It’s: I choose to not make working out a priority.

Do you take ownership of relationships, projects, problems, and solutions? Do you own the choices you make each day? Set deadlines, enlist support, gather needed resources, but whatever you do, always keep your promises to yourself.

#5 – Allow Yourself to Hit Reset

For over 6 years, we had an in-home caregiver to help with our son, Evan, and he had such a calming presence. After an episode or a difficult interaction, Michael would literally send us to opposite ends of the house and tell us all to reset. To start fresh. He reminded us to focus on what’s really important – our family, our love, our health, future, and our priorities.

reset is about perspective. How we choose to interpret a situation dictates our response and our brain chemistry matches it. There are family dynamics that cause anxiety, rushing around to finish last minute tasks at work and home, kids out of school that need to be entertained, and financial pressure. Throw in a healthy dose of self-judgment for any goals or resolutions where you might have fallen short, and then we beat ourselves up. You’re human. Take it one day at a time and be proud of yourself when you succeed at achieving clarity amidst chaos. You can choose to reset at any time.

The more peaceful you feel, the easier it will be for those around you to step into their happy place, too. Focus on what’s most important first, and the rest will fall into place. It’s a gift that the whole family will appreciate. We appreciate you and want to sincerely thank you for being part of the Anne Grady Group community. Stay tuned to see all of the exciting things we are rolling out in 2020!

From our family to yours, wishing you a mindful, grateful, and peaceful holiday season.


Read that again. 🙌 ...

I played piano from the time I was four years old until the age of 15 and during that time, I had a lot of recitals. I remember being so nervous before each recital. What if I played the wrong note? What if I forgot the music? My dad would look at me, hold my hands, and say:

Whatever you do, DO NOT think of pink elephants!!

At the time, I had no idea why in the world he would say this. All I do know is that when I sat down to play, all I saw were pink elephants, and I was able to tackle my nerves.

Turns out my dad was helping me to practice the ironic process theory which explains that when we try to suppress our thoughts, we focus on them even more. Seventy to 80% of our thoughts are negative and repetitive. If not managed, intrusive thoughts can lead to anxiety, depression, and a whole host of mental health challenges.

If you tend to get stuck in rumination, or if your thoughts sometimes get the best of you, here are a few ways to take back control:

1️⃣ Recognize that your thoughts are not facts.
2️⃣ Use your brain. Do a math problem, practice a different language, or play a puzzle game. When you access the prefrontal cortex, the higher level thinking part of your brain, you get out of the emotional limbic system.
3️⃣ Distract yourself. Sometimes a simple distraction gives you enough distance to quiet your intrusive thoughts.
4️⃣ Practice mindfulness.
5️⃣ See a therapist. When negative, intrusive thoughts impact your ability to do your job, maintain relationships, or start clouding your judgment, it may be time to get help. As someone with plenty of intrusive thoughts, therapy has helped me tremendously.

Don’t forget, your thoughts and feelings are not facts. They are simply habits that need to be shifted. Be patient with yourself, and if all else fails, whatever you do, DO NOT THINK OF PINK ELEPHANTS!

Pets provide a deep sense connection and unconditional love. I don’t know what I’d do without without these two nut jobs! Happy National Love Your Pet Day! ❤️🐶 #mindfulmonday #mindfulness #petsnuggles #ilovemydogs #petsofinstagram #nationalloveyourpetday ...

I hope your Friday includes donuts. 🍩 ...

Midweek reminder: Reset your mindset. 🧠 ...

Anne Grady is a Speaker, Author, and #TruthBomb Dropper.

Anne shares practical strategies that can be applied both personally and professionally to improve relationships, navigate change, and triumph over adversity. And she’ll make you laugh while she does it. Anne is a two time TEDx speaker, and her work has been featured in numerous media outlets, including Harvard Business Review, Entrepreneur, Forbes, Fast Company and Inc. magazines, CNN, ESPN, and FOX Business. She is the best selling author of 52 Strategies for Life, Love & Work and Strong Enough: Choosing Courage, Resilience and Triumph.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post comment