By Hilary Bernstein, Contributing Writer
Can you feel the peace? Have you embraced the calm?
If your December was anything like mine, you’ve just made it through a Christmas frenzy. So much to do, so many things to plan, so many people to see.
While I love Christmas, sometimes I think I love January more. Celebrating Christ’s birth is wonderful, but there’s a lot to be said for the quietness and stillness January brings:
- A brand new calendar with blank dates helps me believe the new year is filled with possibilities.
- Now that our Christmas decorations are packed away, our house looks refreshingly uncluttered. Pale blue candles stand where a collection of colorful bulbs once were.
- Sunday afternoons that had been filled with wrapping and Christmas cards and Christmas music now are replaced with good books and long naps.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year for this introvert – when the brown outdoors is covered in a blanket of snow and all of the hustle and bustle turns to peace and quiet.
Bringing direction to your life
While some people believe it making resolutions and changes any time in the year, there’s something different about January – it almost seems like anything is possible. I take advantage of the natural reset button and evaluate my life.
Typically I ask myself a lot of questions and write down my answers to give me direction in the next 12 months. You may want to ask yourself the same things:
- What worked well last year?
- What didn’t work well?
- What would I like to change this year?
- What would I like to add to my life?
- What would I like to take out of my life?
- Who would I like to reach out to this year?
- How could I help other people this year?
- What would I like to read?
- How am I doing spiritually? Socially? Physically? Emotionally? Intellectually? Financially? Do I need to make any changes? If so, what? When will I start to change? And what’s the first step?
Once I’ve contemplated my answers and evaluated my life, I prioritize any changes I need to make – and then figure out when and how I need to start those changes.
Left just as goals, I rarely notice a difference. But if I stop to really think about an action plan, I’m much more likely to make changes for the better.
These January goals and reflections don’t necessarily dictate my entire year – sometimes, in the summer or fall I realize that I certain goal just isn’t relevant anymore. Or I simply change my mind. That’s OK. And sometimes, it takes two or three years to finally accomplish what I’ve set out to do. That’s OK, too.
The main goal is to add a little direction to life – and I’ve found that the peace and quiet of January gives an ideal opportunity for that.