Be Your Own Best Mentor This Year

Be Your Own Best Mentor This Year

In the world of education, January is self-mentoring month. We don’t know when this was created, but it sure gives us an opportunity to combat those winter doldrums and post-holiday blues by refocusing us inward. Whatever your holiday season was like: family-filled, active and away, a vacation, a ‘nowhere to go’ staycation, or reflective, solitary time spent counting the minutes until this year was over, it is now all behind you. Welcome to a clean slate!

Many of us wonder why we have a sense of let down or feel adrift after so much time away from our typical routines. It is natural to fall into a kind of blue period after all the excitement, stress, and whirlwind of time with friends and family has ceased. Perhaps, visitors have returned home or you have gone home and are feeling the tug of separation anew. Or, it might be the sadness that your days of relaxation and self-indulgence are over. For some, it is merely the realization that another year has come and gone and that there are still many miles to go before you reach that much-coveted goal.

As the New Year begins, take time to self-mentor by gifting yourself with an opportunity to pause and reset. Here are a few things we suggest:

  1. Start with gratitude – after all, you made it to another season, which is no small matter! So, appreciate yourself: all you’ve accomplished in the last 365 days, and everything and everyone around you.
  2. Clean your psychological “attic” – reflect on which habits, activities, intentions you want to bring with you into the New Year and which ones to leave behind. Ask yourself, “Can I live without this?” or “What benefit does this offer?” Allow questions such as these to be your guides to what you keep, discard, or perhaps leave aside for consideration at another time.
  3. Consider adding something new and restorative to your daily routine. Maybe it is journaling for a few minutes: each morning about your vision for the day ahead or each evening about what went well and what you would like to work on. Perhaps, you simply allow yourself several minutes of silent “thinking time” each day by closing your door.
  4. Think of a goal you would like to achieve just for yourself in the new year. Make sure it’s specific, realistic, and attainable. Think about the strategies you will use to get there as well as possible barriers and how you may overcome them.
  5. Infuse new energy or inspiration into your relationships – be spontaneous, step outside of the routine of sameness, surprise your friends, call colleagues you would like to know better, suggest a creative activity with a family member.
  6. Be mindful of your physical self: eat healthfully, sleep well, and remain active.
  7. Plan time with loved ones or a special event for yourself. Gift yourself with something in the future to look forward to that will bring you joy. Add physical reminders of this gift to the days leading up to it.
  8. Cherish your “Aha!” moments. Celebrate when you have a sudden realization about a problem and can see the situation through a new and clearer lens.
  9. Take a “brain break” when you are feeling overwhelmed and give yourself an opportunity to recharge by turning off your cell, watching a movie, having a massage, or simply closing your eyes and focusing on your breath.
  10. Keep the gratitude going and your appreciation flowing. Be thankful that you have the energy and insight to be a positive self-mentor.

Most importantly, how will you be a supportive mentor to yourself? What will you say to yourself to stay focused on your goals and keep the motivation alive? Remember, you are your own best friend and can be an enthusiastic cheerleader. So, create a positive, mentoring voice in your head, listen to it, and be grateful that you always have a guide along the way!


 Robin Stern

Bonnie Brown Thumb Bonnie Brown

NikkiElbertsonThumb Nikki Elbertson