The New Year can be a fabulous time to look back, take stock and re-invent ourselves with new plans and big goals. It’s a time to stretch ourselves with self-improving resolutions. Right?
Or… how about this being a time for rest, recuperation and renewal?
During the winter months, everything in nature is in stasis; animals are hibernating and plants are regenerating. The days are short, the nights are long — and often we’re coming out of several weeks of over-indulgence having eaten, drunk and spent too much.
So, how about the first six weeks of the year being about recovery?
It’s said that we can’t grow and heal at the same time. We can’t recover whilst we’re expanding. A lot of our day-to-day existence is about growth, expansion, improvement, getting the next thing… When do we unwind? When do we stop? When do we say, “I need some rest”?
Renowned Sufi and business coach, Mark Silver says, “Trying to fill a full cup just makes a mess. Your first step is to empty the cup.”
I recommend the first six weeks of the year being about emptying the cup!
Towards the end of this six week period of rest, renewal and reflection, all sorts of genius plans can pop into our heads. With our creative juices rejuvenated and with the extra head space available, we can find ourselves devising a completely different (and far yummier) year than had we bulldozed into our resolutions on 1st January.
If the idea of grand resolutions and starting the year with a bang appeals, then go for it! If, however, you’re drawn to a more self-nurturing start, try this…
Write down some things you find restful. Three weeks in Barbados might do it, but it doesn’t have to be anything expensive. It could be a box set on the sofa, a weekend’s yoga retreat, a long walk in the countryside or games of Scrabble with your wordiest friends… write down lots of things that work for you (consider creating and printing a wordle of your favourites).
Schedule some of these restful activities into the first three weeks of the year. Even if you’re working full time, you can still schedule in pockets of ‘restful’. Tip: actually put these things into your diary so you commit and stick to them. It might take a bit of forethought and discipline, but cut out the extraneous stuff and add the restful stuff. How does that feel?
Then write down what builds your energy and schedule this into the following three weeks.
Imagine what a brilliant rest of the year you’re going to have!