It is so crazy to me that we’re already a month into 2022. I feel like January normally takes forever to get through. But this year, it feels like it has flown by. I know, for me at least, that this year is already starting out full of chaos. There’s been a lot going on that I haven’t expected or anticipated.
For that reason, and because it’s the first of the month, I chose to title this post “Reset”. A reset is not always a bad thing. It can take care of certain issues, and fix malfunctions and problems.
I think the first of the month, especially February, is a great time to take a reset. I know I talk about goals a lot on this blog, but going after my goals are a big part of who I am. Regardless of whether or not you set a goal for yourself for the year, you can use today (or any day) to (re)evaluate your habits, goals, and path. Use this time to keep the good things and make improvements on the things that require your attention.
In addition to it being the start of a new month, it’s also Lunar New Year. I’m not Asian, Hindu, or Buddhist, but like a regular new year, it is a time for new beginnings. It’s a time to gather and celebrate. In addition, it is also time to reflect on the past year and look forward to the future.
But I’ve realized that resetting myself is good for me. There are a lot of things I did this last month that I really enjoyed. But there are other things this month that I didn’t enjoy so much. Being able to take a step back and look at the bigger picture helps me to continue the good things and fix the things I didn’t like so much.
I actually needed so much of a reset that I called off work last Friday. I wasn’t sick or had any appointments. I was just that in need of a day to rest. And honestly? That’s what I did. I slept in, did some acts of self-care, and was able to just catch my breath. It was so needed. I was getting burnt out from my job (teaching in an urban public school district can wear on you after a while). Taking a day to reset myself was one of the best things that I could have possibly done. I was able to go into my weekend without feeling stressed out about everything I couldn’t control, and I returned to work on Monday feeling ready to teach for a few more weeks at least.
Allowing yourself to reset should also be about not making yourself feel bad for the things that you didn’t do so well. I’ll be honest: I bought myself a financial planner to help me manage my money. But after writing down my initial information, I didn’t touch it for the rest of the month. Budgeting of any kind got thrown out the window this last month. There was just so much that came up all at once that cost my money and time. So, by resetting myself, I can evaluate the money goals I have for myself. It’s a new month. I can always pick up my financial planner again. Would I have liked to have been better about it? Yes absolutely. Should I let myself feel bad that I wasn’t where I wanted to be? No of course not. At the end of the day, it’s just money. I still have enough to pay my bills and take care of myself, and that’s what matters. I can overlook my inability to plan by being comforted by the fact that my heat works, my lights are on, and I have a comfortable roof over my head.
A lot of times, when you reset a machine or something, you may find that even though your preferences might have been removed, it works better than it did for a while. A good reset also does a sweep and removes things that shouldn’t be in the system. And sometimes that’s what you need to do for yourself as well. You may need to remove things that aren’t working and aren’t supposed to be in your system. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that! Sometimes things don’t work; or to continue my metaphor of a device, sometimes you buy or download things that you think are going to make the device work better, but in reality, all it does is slow it down or fill it with bugs. Not everything that you do works out the way that you want it to. I will for sure be the first person to admit that. Plans change, life happens, and you’re suddenly left in an explosion. Asking yourself how you got there focuses your energy to the wrong point and prevents you from healing or progressing. The real question is how are you going to proceed from that point.
Resets, like with devices, usually often come after you’ve tried everything else. While they may hit you at your lowest, you usually feel a whole lot better afterwards. I talk about how important it is to take care of yourself a lot, but this is one of the points I don’t talk about as much. Sometimes there’s truly nothing else you can do. Self-care isn’t all about the nice fun things you can do for yourself. It’s also the hard-hitting reality of recognizing where and when you come up short and taking the steps to remedy that. I was coming up short all last week on a whole host of different things, and I was not effective to my students, staff, or myself. I recognized that it was literally better to take the day off and recuperate myself than it was to try to toughen it out. I can’t imagine what I would have felt like had I gone in on Friday. But now I feel better, and all it took was a reset.
Taking care of yourself is not a bad thing. However, working yourself to exhaustion is. And I don’t just mean your job. I mean in anything you do. And I’m not referring about exhaustion on a project where you fall right into bed and are immediately asleep but refreshed the next day. I’m talking about burning the candle at both ends, waking up so tired you’re not sure you’ll make it through the day, no time for anything else exhaustion.
I cannot recommend enough how important taking a reset actually is. It gives you that time to actually prioritize yourself and take care of your own personal issues. Now, I recognize that a full day off work might be too much for some people, or that other things can get in the way. It isn’t a specific amount of time. It’s as much or as little as you need it to be. Whatever works for you is what you need to do. It’s not about what I say or about what works for me. Your life is different than mine. But recognize that you can’t work yourself to death at anything. You’re no good to anyone dead. You’re here on this world for a reason. Take some time to take care of yourself. Reset your ideals, goals, and trajectory to do better things for yourself.