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Weekly Doses of Pop-up Psych

We all make cringey mistakes and deserve to move on, rather than feel confused or regretful after an icky social situation. Each week, I will dissect a murky social, life cycle, or pop culture topic to help you understand, learn, and move on. As a former academic, I am a super-picky consumer of research (and you should be too) as well as the content I create and share, so those new solutions, data and/or additional resources have certainly met my approval.

Gentle January Transitions: Tips for Easing In Without Pressure

Happy New Year!  Just as we survive the holidays and all the media glitz, we are slapped with the pressure of the new year.  “New Year, New You!” The media is telling us to start out strong with the message that if it’s either 120% or bust. We can buffer that anxiety when we realize we don’t need to change or gently integrate something new into our lives.


You can start a new goal, habit, or chapter literally at any time.  It doesn’t have to be the first day of the year, month, or week. I started on a #yogaeverydamnday challenge for 8.5 years (until my body told me that a few times a week worked best for me) after many failed attempts. It was a random Sunday, November 30th, 2014 on a day when I woke me up with a feeling knowing it was the day to start a yoga challenge; despite that it was the last day of the week and month of Thanksgiving weekend, approaching the holiday season and grading, since I was teaching graduate school at the time.  It was the wrong time on the calendar, but the right time for me.


We are humans; not machines


We’re messy.  We have feelings, goals, and life that hijacks our plans.  Plus, New Year’s depression is certainly real (click here for specific tips on help with that). We can also toe our way into the pool when the calendar turns, as opposed to splashing in full throttle.


Ease into January without pressure by realizing it’s just a new calendar


It’s nothing more, nothing less, unless you want it to be. Although the calendar turns and we are technically in a “new year", is there really a difference between life on December 31st and January 1st?  Nope! Like the sunset below, it slowly transitions to various sunset times, but slowly and gradually.  We are the same person as the day before, with the same strengths and issues, so accept that your personal timing might not align with society’s timing.


Ease into January without pressure by starting out slow


Just because you didn’t start off the year the way you wanted or “fell off the wagon” doesn’t mean you have to completely give up your goals. Take one day at a time. Robots crash under the pressure, so allow yourself to take breaks and ease into whatever you are doing.


Ease into January without pressure by celebrating small victories


Progress is progress.  The smallest milestones should be acknowledged.  Don’t take for granted what you have accomplished.


Ease into January without pressure by giving yourself grace


Missteps don’t mean bust. Life happens that makes us fall out of our routine. We tend to expect more of ourselves than other people.  Recognize that we are human and sometimes we are simply doing our best.  We can start over anytime!


What about you?


  • What do you need to ease into this year?

  • Where can you eliminate pressure?

Hi, Beautiful Readers! Thank you for reading this! I'm Dr. Joanne Broder, Media Psychologist, Author, and Fellow of the American Psychological Association. Please consider me to help you write your memoir, blogs, speeches, e-books, as well as coach you on your dissertation or thesis.  Click here so we can connect!

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