Well … it’s here. It’s the New Year. We’re already a handful of days into the year 2022 now. And I don’t know about you, but for me, it feels like one of the weirdest steps into a new calendar year that I have ever experienced.

I’m not anxious … but I’m not excited, either. I’m not celebrating last year’s accomplishments, nor am I looking to check new boxes for this year’s “things to do.” January has perhaps brought a very cautious dose of realism. And instead of looking back or looking forward, I feel very stuck in the “right now.” Of course, that’s not altogether a bad thing. Being present is a highly regarded trait! But this just feels strange. I would liken this feeling to the unpleasant, muffled haze that one experiences when all of your senses are negatively affected by a cold (or by a certain global pandemic that I will leave unmentioned by name).

All in all, I guess it kind of feels like being burned out! But it’s not a physical exhaustion; it’s a mental one. And all the ups and downs, all the uncertainties and tragedies, have taken a collective toll. Anyone else with me? Anyone else feel completely defeated yet somehow equally motivated at the same time?

Out With Resolutions

Maybe this stifled slump is just what we need to get going again. Perhaps it’s the perfect time to take these sometimes odd and confusing moments to rethink, regroup and reassess. The thing is: You don’t have to launch into 2022 knowing everything you plan to do. Instead of focusing on the organized lists of specifics, maybe it’s OK to just clump similar items together! And instead of making “New Year’s Resolutions,” I’m going to follow the advice of many others and instead make some “New Year’s Affirmations.”

What do all these crazy ramblings mean?

Well, we all know that a resolution is basically a make-it-or-break-it deal — a high-stakes, heavy-duty promise you make to yourself for the next 365 days. And that’s why so many people are often setting themselves up for failure every January 1. For instance, a person might set the bar high by deciding to incorporate dry-fire training five days a week. Great goal, right? But the caveat is, if you don’t do it, and you don’t practice five days a week, you have “failed.” You may have even lost all motivation and won’t continue because the goal is too unrealistic or because life is just simply interrupted.

In With Affirmations

An affirmation, on the other hand, is a meaningful and purposeful thought that will recognize, manifest or attract something positive into your life. For instance, a comparable affirmation for the dry-fire resolution would be something like, “I gain efficiency and proficiency when I regularly incorporate dry-fire practice into my firearms training routine.” With this simple but powerful change of mindset, you are using positive self-talk and are more apt to combat thought patterns that may otherwise hold you back. And these positive thoughts and reminders then translate into prolific actions and goals!

So if you’re feeling simultaneously energized and deflated right now, don’t make it any worse on yourself by piling on a 2022 to-do list. Change your perspective and focus on the positives and the wins to make this year a success.