What you should really do in January

If you’re excited by all the enthusiastic emails flooding into your inbox encouraging you to start January with a bang; to set goals or intentions; to sign up for this, or to start that, then stop reading now.

If, however you’re fed up with people telling you how they’ve started this programme or diet, or some other way of monitoring what they eat or drink through a magic app, and THIS TIME they’ll stick to the goal they’ve set, you’re on my wavelength.

In fact I’m more than fed up; I’m down right irritated by everyone’s energy and enthusiasm, their rush to make changes and their certainty that this year everything will be different.

January And (I’m on a roll now), I’m also irritated by everyone telling me their wonderful plans for the year. Frankly I don’t need (or want) to know. For the record I have some great plans but I don’t feel the need to shout them from the rooftops.

Yes I know that there are some wonderful people out there offering amazing support and wisdom but it can be tempting to get sucked in to setting resolutions, goals or intentions and signing up for courses because you feel like you SHOULD and not because you WANT TO.

And then it’s a surprise when within days or weeks everything falls away and you’re back to square one; well maybe back to square minus one because you’ve added some self-criticism and resentment into the mix.

January is not a time to start something new

Here in London it’s winter and I just found this quote which sums up how January feels to me; ‘Like a daffodil bulb in the cold ground, we should let our energy sink deeper inside us

So that’s what I intend to do.

words for 2016As winter started I went into hibernation; I feel like I’m in a warm and cosy cave and I’m exploring it. And for the next three months or so I’ll be continuing this exploration. I’ve chosen two words to guide me through the next few months and they are PATIENT EXPLORATION. Why patient? Well I’m not good at patient; I’m better at jumping in and making quick decisions but winter is a time for patience.

Winter is a time for planning the garden; delicate plants bloom more strongly if they’re nurtured until the weather is warm enough for them to thrive. If they’re exposed to the elements too early and there’s a cold snap they will die.

So it is with ideas and plans.

January is a time for hibernation

I won’t be sitting still; in addition to learning through reading my exploration includes some training and development but as I already said I don’t need to shout the specifics from the rooftops. All I’ll say is that by the end I’ll have much deeper and broader knowledge that will help me personally and also enable me to support you in new and unique ways.

I’ll still be blogging and working 1-1 with clients; it’s just that I won’t be starting anything new for a while, and only when it feels right.

To follow the quote about winter; ‘Spring is the time of opening when everything begins to grow, sending out shoots and buds. This is the time to return to activity… and the energy that we have been storing can now be used and enjoyed.’

So that’s what I plan to do too.

What about you?

I give you full permission to stay in your version of hibernation and emerge when it feels right. The only thing is that you do have to emerge at some point because you can’t stay in there forever. You do know that don’t you?

Did this resonate with you?

Are you raring to go or are you with me in continuing your hibernation?

Do my words of patient exploration resonate with you, and if not what words would you choose?

Please comment below (you don’t have to use your own name).

(And thanks to Karen for the plant metaphor and to Helen for the cave)

18 thoughts on “What you should really do in January”

  1. Well said Lesley. We all have our own time zone when it comes to good and bad times of the year. Winter is a great time to be patient with yourself. When it is summer we don’t force ourselves to stay indoors and eat mashed potatoes so why do some people force themselves to be so dynamic now.

    • Thanks Cali, the more I get to know myself, the more I’m learning about which times of year are best for me and working accordingly.

  2. Thank you Lesley it’s really nice to read a different perspective rather than this constant barrage of new year new you stuff. Yes it’s good to reflect and perhaps decide things you might want to do but you can do that any time of yeAr.

  3. I so enjoyed your feisty irritation, Lesley!! You make such a useful point in that the messages we get bombarded with this time of year are quite one sided, and in being so tend towards unrealistic.

    I think both hibernation and striving for change (and every shade of gray in between!) are good things – it’s the art of choosing what serves us at any given time that really matters.

    Glad to see the under – represented side of the spectrum given some focus, thanks!

    • Thanks Sarah, yes you’re right it’s having the confidence to choose what’s right for us and not feeling that we have to go with the apparent flow.

  4. I am still chuckling as I read through I could feel my energy rising saying ‘hell yeah!’. I too am in that place of hibernation. It will take me some time to feel into the New Year. I am so relieved to see others feel the same way. Love to you xxx

  5. Aaah, thank you Lesley, for speaking this out!

    I’ve been finding myself wanting to delete every cheery New Year/New You type message that lands in my inbox and feeling inclined to retreat even deeper into my cave each time one arrives.

    I wonder if there’s just so much ‘noise’ in the online world now that it’s bound to feel hype-ey and agitating at this time of year? I was on Oxford Street last night (not by choice!) and felt the same kind of fever-pitch buzzy energy.

    Looking forward to more tranquil times ahead, and meanwhile hunkering down.

    • I think you’re right Linda, there’s a lot of noise in the world now & a fever pitch of shopping so a cave is a wonderful place to be (but it’s getting bit crowded now 🙂 )

  6. I am definitely a Spring person and this year I am looking at the seasons, just because the clock ticked midnight and we’re all expected to see the New Year in with a bang means there are plenty of people who feel they’ve failed already and we’re only a week in to the New Year. Love this post and your honesty Lesley – totally real and resonates with me. I am with you on the oh-so cheery new year new you shenanigans. And I look forward to the arrival of the daffodils when the time is right for them to flourish. Fab words for the year too, much better than unrealistic goals and must do’s, should do’s etc…… x

  7. I could not agree more with you. In past years we made so many “resolutions” in January about how we were going to try a new option for dealing with infertility. This year we are just researching clinics like Santa Monica Fertility and taking it slow and deliberating. The right decision will present itself in time!

  8. I’m ready to go, as I love a New Year. But of course it is completely different for me, because New Year here marks really the beginning of our summer proper. (Or theoretically at least, as it’s quite cold today.)

    I do however find myself very irritated by people pushing their tips to be perfect (declutter, lose weight, exercise, be successful etc) at this time of year.

    Enjoy your hibernation. I do that in winter too, and I think it is very sensible to listen to the world and your body and mind, and take it easy at times.


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