Why not to start new things in January and what do to instead

If you’re excited by all the enthusiastic emails flooding into your inbox telling you that, now it’s January you MUST set goals or intentions; give up this or start that, otherwise it will be too late 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.

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 an amazing intention but I don’t feel the need to shout it from the rooftops.

Yes I know there are some wonderful people offering amazing support and wisdom and 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.

Then it’s a surprise when days or weeks later 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.

Why do you lose momentum in January?

Because it’s winter.

And winter is not a time to be rushing about starting new things.

Here in London it’s winter, the trees are bare, their energy is directed deep within so they can recharge and replenish their reserves.

So that’s what I intend to do.

Through my Yin yoga practice, I’m learning more about Traditional Chinese Medicine and the seasons. I’ve learned that winter is the most yin time, it’s dark and cold, a time to be still and quiet and direct my energy inwards.

Just like trees.

I spent most of 2017 writing my book and will pausing from that in January. I’ll be meditating and writing in my journal and also curling up on the sofa with a book, or journal. Maybe even (woo hoo) fiction.

And just like the trees; this will connect me to that source of energy deep within me, which I will nurture enabling it to grow stronger and be ready for spring.

Trees become stronger because their leaves only start to grow once the risk of frost has passed.

So it is with plans.

I’ll spend time developing my ideas and intentions, but I definitely won’t be rushing to start anything.

Spring is the time when growth begins, when you start to see shoots and buds. This is also when I will return to activity and the energy that I’ve been nurturing will be ready to for me to use.

What to do instead

I give you full permission mirror the trees, and be still enough so that you can hear the quiet voice inside you and take time to replenish and restore your energy. And you will start to grow when it feels right for you, and only you. The only thing to know is that winter doesn’t last forever so you have to return to activity at some point.

Did this resonate with you? Are you raring to go or are you with me in pausing in January? Please add your comment below (you don’t have to use your name).

4 thoughts on “Why not to start new things in January and what do to instead”

  1. Thank you Lesley for your wise words as always. A comfort to the inbox. Look forward to your book. Can I just get this off my chest too? I dont know if others feel this way also, but ontop of what you are discussing re expectations for January, the new year also seems to magnify the news of more babies in the papers, on the news and around. I find I’m doing okay then this news drags you down again. So, I will re~ read your blog and get back on track again take things quietly for a while, do some self nurturing and think about the trees ????.

    • Thanks so much Lorna,
      These days babies don’t bother me so much & I know that will be the case for you in time. So yes do take things quietly,sef-care and nurturing is always a good thing.
      Take care of yourself, Lesley

  2. Hi lesley thank you so much, practised all your tips that you posted pre xmas for coping with holiday season mega helpful, so lovely to get your blog have soo missed you this is beautiful kind gentle blog just what I need thank you caron xxx


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