The Reality of New Year’s Resolutions

Kendra Fisher

Kendra Fisher talks through the notion of making New Year’s Resolutions and why we have to be realistic in meeting our own expectations after the holiday season has passed

mentallyfit is presented by Kendra Fisher

Podcast length: 14’42”

Kendra Fisher takes a close look at the reality of making New Year’s Resolutions and why it’s important if you struggle with the holiday season to manage expectations. Drawing your own line in the sand is something you have control of when the world is seemingly spinning around you. When you are being challenged with a mental health conditions setting goals that you’re comfortable with provides a helpful structure as Kendra explains with tools to help you cope.

Visit mentallyfit for more information and resources on mental health.

MORE episodes of mentallyfit 


[00:00:51] Happy New Year and welcome to mentally fit. The podcast it discusses topics relating to mental health and LGBTQ issues. I’m Kendra Fisher Canadian hockey goalie and if you’re a new listener to this show you can hear my previous episodes at sports dot com where you can also find full transcripts on the show page under listen and just click on mentally set. This show gives me the opportunity to share my experiences with you and offer some advice on how to cope with mental illness. It is so important to know you’re not alone and have the tools to call on when you need them. I spent a lot of time giving talks on these subjects and on this episode I’d like to share with you my opinion around the reality of New Year’s Resolutions.

[00:01:31] As I see it and how they can be overwhelming again just to get started here. I hope everybody had a great holidays and a happy new year and are finding the first days of 2018 to be full of happiness and I’m sure challenges and I think part of the reason that I assume it’s full of challenges because we tend to do this thing where as we’re wrapping up a year we evaluate and we go through everything that we’ve done in the year before and we just have this natural tendency as people to find everything that we came up short with. We forget about all of the wonderful things that we did in the year and all of the things that we accomplished or or went right. And I find that often when I’m listening to people’s conversations around the end of the year I find that a lot of what it is is the things that they didn’t do the things they wanted to do. The resolutions from last year that they didn’t accomplish and I just I get this feeling in me that people are looking for perfection. People are looking to be perfect. People are looking at this image of what they want their life to be and who they want to be. And that seems to be what New Year’s resolutions are built around.

[00:02:53] And on this show as I mentioned I’d like to talk on the topic of mental health but I feel like this is one that pertains to everybody and I know that prior to the holidays I had a discussion here about preparing for the holidays and for somebody who’s living with mental illness how challenging that can be how how isolating it can be to go into the holidays and maybe not have that same connection to festivities as other people might have. And I guess that amplifies this message to me which is suspended that you know a couple of weeks really focused on everything that’s wrong in our lives everything that we’re fighting everything that we’re feeling challenged by and perhaps it kind of forces us to build such an unreachable list of resolutions that I feel like sometimes people are setting themselves up to be overwhelmed in the new year that those resolutions again kind of take a backseat. And I just have some really interesting ideas I guess in my own experience as to how I’ve come about dealing with those. And for me you know whether we’re dealing with mental illness or whether or not we’re just dealing with the busyness of life and the complacency that people have in terms of self care I think that’s something we all need to focus on is baby steps. And this was something that I was forced to learn. I had this this period as long period I guess when I was pre diagnosis and then being diagnosed with mental illness where I just had this image of how I needed to get better and what that looked like and needed to be healthy I needed to be fit. I needed to be happy I needed to be in control again quote unquote. And all of these things that people were throwing at me in how to make that happen they just seemed so easy. Other people go to the gym workout eat well get sleep have a social life have friends. And all of those things for somebody dealing with mental illness can be very challenging.

[00:05:07] And even those not dealing with mental illness finding time for that balance is challenging. And that’s where I bring in this kind of notion of we need to take baby steps because change takes time. Building routines is so important for people living with mental illness having a routine that is very focused on making sure that all of your resources and your supports and your coping tools are always within arm’s reach that you are making sure that you build it into your daily routine so that you are getting enough sleep you are eating properly you are engaging in talk therapy or cognitive behavioural therapy or whichever therapy it is that that is I guess right for yourself. It’s really important to make time for that. And I think that he we go into the new year with this huge huge huge thought that we’re going to wake up on January 1st and we’re going to go to the gym and we’re going to look like every magazine cover we see and there’s going to be a big smile on her face. And this is the year that we’re going to be you know out at parties and getting along or falling in love. And what we forget is that every other responsibility in our life hasn’t gone anywhere. Everything else that we have to deal with hasn’t gone anywhere. Just because we have this grand idea of what that should look like it doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily possible. We spend our whole holiday focused on everything we need to do better and we think we can master it just by showing up at the gym on January 1st.

[00:06:44] And I guess what I’d like to do in this in this conversation is I want to challenge everybody to stick to their resolutions but I’m going to suggest that maybe the best way to do that is to introduce them gradually take the steps to create the possibility for each one of those resolutions to become a reality. And I think to do that you need to just put all of the odds in your favor if you’re starting five new things if you’re going to start going to the gym if you’re going to start focusing on eating right. If you’re going to start focusing on adding more of a social aspect to your life or maybe finding some better balance between work and social and health care and family maybe introduce both things one week at a time instead of on January 1st instead of thinking it’s possible for you to change your entire life in one day. Maybe the way we could go about being successful with New Year’s resolutions is to understand that in order to make them last in order to make some something that becomes part of your daily routine you have to take the steps to make sure that they’re going to fit into your daily routine. And that isn’t ever going to happen overnight. And I can say that for myself what it looked like for me was years and years of process of learning this very lesson because I’m one of those people who always waited for a new beginning to make a change and it didn’t just have to be New Years. I’m one of those people who at the time I was going to start eating healthier. It was always going to be next Monday.

[00:08:20] It was always going to be next month. It was always going to be a natural beginning and natural start which is what follows a natural ending to be the week end seemed like you know what I’m going to just I’m going to eat crap all weekend long because they know on Monday I’m going to start eating better and we do this until we find ourselves at New Year’s Eve again going OK we just procrastinated away another year of New Year’s resolutions and this year I really want to challenge us all including myself to really focus on putting those things in place to make it possible because otherwise what happens is you’re left feeling like you failed and failure is challenging for anybody. But failure to somebody who is already suffering failure to somebody who lives with mental illness can be so devastating it can be so overwhelming. And let me put that into perspective. I I remember in my worst days it could be something as simple as the timing of appointment changing that would throw off my whole day. I would break up and I would know that I had my whole day planned. And the fact that I had to go to see my psychologist at noon and something would come up something would happen and my psychologist not often and this is just an example would call and say look we need to reschedule for 12 13 and just that half hour change just a little bit of change in my day without me knowing about it without planning for it advance would be enough for me to stay in bed all day because I couldn’t handle that little bit of disappointment. It felt so devastating.

[00:10:03] And when I think of how many people came out of the holidays with this horrible to do list of you know what this year is going to be different and maybe a few days into the new year. Now they’re realizing that they haven’t checked off a horse on that list and I just want everybody to know that’s not a failure. That’s just reality. Reality is we can’t change everything overnight. We have to work for it. And I think the more we set ourselves up per success the more we recognize that you have to take those steps gradually and change your self gradually. The more successful we’re going to be. And for me it took years and it didn’t need to. You know the process of recovery for me took so much longer because I fought it. I thought I could do it all on my own. I thought that it should just get better because I knew what it was now. I thought that it wasn’t worth trying because it felt so defeating to fail it felt so it just broke me to the core when I felt like I didn’t achieve something and I just want everybody to maybe here hear something in my words here that might help them to change their perspective a bit. We’re still going to face those challenges. We’re still going to face those defeats but less learn to place them more gently. Let’s learn to put them somewhere that allows us to grow from them. If you didn’t make it to the gym yet that’s OK.

[00:11:38] If you hadn’t been to a gym this single day and 2070 and you woke up in 2018 thinking I’m going to go to the gym everyday. You weren’t being realistic. As somebody who trains. There are days that I don’t want to go to the gym and don’t make it to the gym. And if it’s something that’s new to you. Be kind enough to yourself to understand that it’s a process and don’t give up just because you haven’t made it yet. Maybe your plan needs to be. I’m going to go once this week and then once unsuccessful once this week I’m going to write it down and I’m going to keep track of the fact that I was successful. Not that I failed to go the other 6 days but that the one day I did go I made it and this is how it made me feel. And my goal for next week is I’m going to go twice and build up to a routine that makes you feel the strength that you will get from having healthier habits. I think that that’s really what I want to share today. It’s just we can all be successful in making the changes in our lives so we could be successful in the New Years resolutions. We just have to be realistic and supportive about what that means and I assure you for anybody who’s sitting there thinking wow here we go again another year of not taking on all the things they said I was going to do. It’s not too late it’s never too late. Just break it down and make it manageable. That’s that’s what I wanted to share with you today on this episode of mentally fit.

[00:13:09] I’m going to ask you to please visit my website mentally fit dot com for more information resources and also for a place to share your own experiences with our conversation section. You can follow mentally fit on Twitter @mentally_fit in on Instagram at mentally fit. You can also find me on Facebook. Personally under Kendra Fisher where I also do more live videos and give you the opportunity to ask more questions and if there’s anything that you want to share on these episodes please feel free to leave suggestions or send messages. You can also find me on Instagram at Kent K. Fisher 30 or on Twitter @endra_fisher30 as well. Please follow with sports on all the social media channels at WiSP Sports. And for more conversations from the world of women’s sport including articles videos blog podcasts visit WiSP Sport Radio is the largest podcast network for women’s sport in the world. With more than 700 episodes insert the shows and a global audience of one point five million you can listen on the Web site to subscribe on any podcast player such as iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify and Google Play and a little extra self promo here. Please make sure get onto those social media outlets. That’s where you’re going to find out when I’ll be joining host Chris Stafford on WiSP Sports new live daily morning show where we’re going to be discussing all things women’s sports. So once again happy new year. I’m Kender Fisher and until next time please take care.

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