There is something so magical about this time of year. People shift and stir. Dream. Declare. Pursue and re-imagine.
We feel like we’ve been given a divine permission to bust through old habits, negative thoughts and other stagnation. Mentally, physically, relationally, emotionally and in all our roles in life.
To be set free. To move forward. To climb higher, to e-l-e-v-a-t-e and be more true to the way we really want to be.
It’s, glorious, really.
But even more magical than the resolutions and promises “to do better this year”, is the time that we take to survey and re-assess. To stop going through our daily life in pure automatic mode, and actually think more clearly about our actions, intentions and the things that matter most to us in life. It’s beautiful.
I was thinking about it last week, amongst all the talk that people were doing.
About why I finally like the whole New Year thing, but I would hate it the way most people do it.
Last year, I remember distinctly making the resolution not to make a resolution, but just to continue on with my already formed daily intentions that keep me feeling my best so I can give my best.
That was it. I’d share it when people asked, but I felt like I wasn’t telling the whole story.
And it’s actually something big that I was keeping to myself. And I wanted to share it with you in this first week of January, in case you’re already feeling overwhelmed at the path you declared for yourself.
And it is this:
Instead of putting all of the things that you want to do and be and accomplish and complete and dominate and conquer all in one month (or two), take it seasonally.
Just like food and the weather, I think there’s something really amazing about setting your intentions not for the entire year, but in 3 month segments.
Of course, planning and scoping out your year is great- I happen to do that on my birthday every year. It seems like a more natural starting point to me and place to reflect and dream instead of part way through.
Because sometimes you focus so much energy on that yearly goal (or that full LIST), right in January, that you burn out. Fizzle. And then feel guilty about it. Just like dieting. And we all know how I feel about that.
So, instead, what if you embraced the concept of every season- four times a year- reassessing where you are at.
This is not just “break your goals into small achievable goals” kind of talk. This is embracing each season, and each day, and the things that are most important to you for that specific time of year and moment in time.
The food you eat changes (hopefully), the sunrise changes, your clothing changes, the weather changes, and with it, you’ll have new things to focus on and live more fully into.
There’s the fresh start feeling, that shift, and that energy that comes each time. It’s fun and exciting.
It’s the same that you feel now, only you get it more often. More inspiration, and more accomplishments if you focus them in a shorter amount of time, without any boredom or burnout.
The end result?
>> You become more mindful every day because you know you have a set time to really give all you’ve got.
>> You learn to embrace change better overall- maybe even learn to look forward to it, which helps you handle life better.
>> The energy of change feels fresh instead of scary.
>> You actually grow, and the habits that serve you best truly stick around. Which is kind of the whole point, right?
These don’t even have to be goals- mine rarely are.
They can just be things you want to focus on or bring more attention, love or focus to.
Be that your relationship to god, or committing to yoga, or walking 10,000 steps a day, or reading more books instead of watching tv, or drinking more water or being more loving or patient with something in your life.
You cultivate a theme. I always ask myself- how do I want to feel this season? What would be the most deeply fulfilling? What is the one – or a few- things I want to make it about.
And then, I do.
How do you approach the New Year? What has helped you the most in years past? Leave a comment below and join in the convo.