I am a bear. And when I say a bear, I mean I truly hibernate during the winter months. For that reason I always struggled with New Years resolutions. January was always a drag. Coming out of this fast pace, socially overstimulating and extremely indulging December month, all I wanted to do at the beginning of every year was to have a rest and let my brain and body recover from this hyper-senses overload of the previous month.
January is still dark and cold where we live, I can hardly motivate myself to get out of bed and have a shower, let alone to make new beginnings. I want to stay indoors, warm and cosy, grazing on comfort food and having quiet moments. Moments that help me reconnect with my very tired self. In the past, all my previous ‘New Year, New Me’ resolutions lasted usually about 2.5 days. Now honestly, how many of you are in the same boat as me?
I do admire people that are not bears and find motivation and keep going even in the darkest of times. But I embrace my inner bear and I have finally made peace with her. I let her take her time and give permission for the slowness that she needs to go through these dark and cold winter months. I do some sporadic yoga, I go for long walks in the countryside all wrapped up and I eat whatever my body is asking me to feed it, which usually involve foods high in carbs and fat. Yes, I do gain a few pounds but I’m mindful about it and I don’t drive myself to depression over it. That’s the whole purpose of cozy oversized jumpers in the winter, right?
As I have embraced my inner bear, I have a proposal for all other fellow-bears out there. First of all let’s stop pressurising ourselves with the January resolution madness, let’s agree and accept that we will wake up in spring. And we will set our intentions for the new year then. My year of resolutions runs from April to March. This is how it works better for me. This is when nature awakens and this is definitely when I’m ready to come out of hibernation. The days are lighter the temperatures are milder, you go down to a few light layers of clothing rather the usual Eskimo’s outfit and everything feels so much better.
I always start my spring resolution with celebrating my previous year which looks like this:
- What have I learned in the previous year?
- What are the 3 best things that happened to me?
- What have I created that I’m proud of?
- What is the one thing that I’m most grateful for?
- What was the biggest lesson?
- Have I showed up to the people that matter the most to me?
- Have I been kind to myself?
- Have I been kind to others?
Then I set my intentions for the rest of the year and I try to be as specific as I can:
- What can I commit to stop doing this year?
- What will I make more time for?
- Are there any new hobbies I would like to explore this year?
- What are the new things I would like to learn?
- What are my career goals for this year?
- What are my relationship goals for this year?
- What are my financial goals for this year?
- How I would like to feel this year?
- What do I need to do to be and stay healthy?
- Where would I like to travel this year and how can I realistically achieve this?
I always finish it by drawing a mind map in my notebook that looks something like this. Starting in the middle with my main focus for this year, this one thing that needs to be my main priority and around it all the actions I need to take to achieve my big main goal. I really enjoy doing this as I often go back at the end of the year and look at all the ‘bubbles’ and tick off the ones I have achieved. Usually I have done more things than I thought I had. It’s great for accountability.
So my fellow-bears, what do you think? Are you ready to come out of your hibernation and set up your intentions?
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