How will you have an intentional year in 2019?
January 1st has always been arbitrary to me. There I said it (first time ever out loud).
I often wondered why we humans place so much emphasis on that date and how by the stroke of midnight on 31st December, you’d need to have all your ducks in a row. You know, things like what habits you want to quit, new hobbies to start, what to let go of, goals to accomplish, how many books you want to read… I was however too scared to say that out loud or share it with anyone for fear of being judged, laughed at, or ridiculed.
God forbid I say that January 1st is an arbitrary date when a lot of people are counting on it. Can you imagine blurting this out after your friends share with great enthusiasm their goals of getting fit, running a marathon, or advancing their careers. I’d appear like I don’t care about life at all or have zero ambition to grow. Perhaps they’d think that I am bursting their bubble and invalidating their goals. No, I didn’t dare, couldn’t dare. Too eager to please, and a little worried about what people would think of me if I shared my opinion (especially when said opinion goes against the grain).
Take a stand for what you believe
Enter new me. A me who chooses to live a full life, and be true to who I am. Ever since I committed to living more intentionally, I find myself being more honest towards others and mostly myself. It’s not always easy and can even get tricky at times. Like now during this transitionary calendar phase between 2018 and 2019. And it dawns on me that if I want to live authentically, it’s OK to take a stand for something. Mindful living is dear to my heart, and in that light I owe it to myself to stay true to my beliefs.
The unnecessary pressure that the dawn of a new year can bring
Last night, I wrote down a list of all the projects I wanted to accomplish for 2019. I too wanted to plan my year. After all, isn’t this going to guarantee success? And if you have a clear picture of your goals, and write them all down then you’ll increase your chances even more, right? There’s nothing wrong in planning ahead, however my journal pages turned into massive to-do lists. Overwhelming. I had also been feeling rather left out after seeing on social media that almost everyone had their word, and projects all under wraps. The panic set in.
Needless to say that the following day, I woke up with my heart racing (not because my husband flashed me his dashing smile). I felt stressed, tense, and like a heavy load had suddenly been placed onto my shoulders. What just happened?!
I realised that while it is fine to have a vision of where you’re headed, it’s also OK to not have it all figured out. Just because you’re not ready to decide the top three projects you want to undertake in your life in 2019 by 1st January doesn’t mean you’re doomed to fail. You can start at anytime. Maybe you’ve started reading a book in late November and will finish it end of January. It’s a journey, and these are mere dates to set some parameters to assist us. So if the thought of having to come up with 30 things to do to be your optimum self in 2019 sends you into a panic, please breathe.
Slow down and focus on what’s essential
Yes it’s good to have ambitions. Amen to having a vision & strategy for your work life. Yes to wanting more happiness in areas such as relationships, family, wellness. But if doing all that work of “resolutions” is getting you spiralling into a dark hole, please take a step back.
How about taking a slower approach and starting the year when it feels right for you? By no means am I advocating that we just laze around, don’t have a care in the world, and toss all ambitions out of the window. For sure, growth is important. Moving forward is great. But not when it comes with a high price to pay – stress, pressure, anxiety, shattered nerves. So choose how you want to feel like when you think about 2019 and your plans. Allow yourself to be kind and compassionate towards you if you aren’t ready just yet. Above all though, let this be your choice. Check in within yourself if it feels right to you. Your heart always knows…
As I end this article, I’m going to meditate and receive my word. Then, I will climb into bed and journal about the lessons 2018 enriched my life with. If I’m still awake by midnight, I’ll enjoy the fireworks show. If not, it’s not a big deal. Not to be cynical or anything, but I do find far more pleasure in the simple things. If that’s you too, then I’m happy you’ve read this article until the end because I wrote it with you in mind. I hope that whatever you’re doing as we transition from one year to the new, that it’s bringing you joy.
I’d love if you could share what your feelings are around New Year and this time. Have you made plans yet? Do you have a word? Let me know in the comments below.