I can feel it heating up already. It is that time of year again where we are bombarded with people, books, articles and cheery talk shows telling us all the ways to improve our lives in the New Year. Lose weight but gain muscle, be more productive but s-l-o-w down, and my favorite and most lofty, the “live your best life “ line … What does it all mean? Honestly, I have no idea and would certainly fail before I got through the first week of January.
Is it actually possible to ignore these suggestions? Tune them out? Well, unless you want to sleep through January and February (as appealing as that might seem), it is highly doubtful. But perhaps we can at least be prepared … Much to the chagrin of many, I have never done well with people telling me to do anything specific, I need to understand, internalize and then set on my own path.
So, my plan for the next two weeks as I partake in the myriad of activity, celebration and travel is to simply “take stock”. That is, preempt the New Year's Resolution Society and think about my own life and my own plan first! Radical, huh?
Ordinarily one might think the holiday season is the hardest time to just breathe, let alone think. Family and social obligations, kids with no routine or school, expectations of blissful holiday scenes… It can certainly be busy, but within all the mayhem also comes the greatest opportunity to learn about your own life. What’s working, what’s not. What makes you happy, what not so much.? All of the little pieces of your life. After all, it is all of the ingredients working together that make the greatest stock.
So, how can you start?
Pay attention to the conversations: At all of those gatherings you are going to attend and people you will see, what are your best conversations? What is the topic? What makes you uncomfortable and want to move on? Are you feeling judged by Aunt Sally or constantly comparing yourself to that "perfect" cousin and left feeling like chopped liver? Are you energized by the friend who recently started her own business? What is your voice, what is someone else's? What is your reaction?
Watch the dynamics: If you are spending time with family this one is easy! Sibling, parental, spousal, maternal, shall I go on? How do you relate to each other? Who creates calm and bliss? Who’s not and why?
How much and what are you doing? Can you say no? Do you want to? If you are like me, the answers are easy. No and Yes. Now some things we just have to do and some things get an automatic "no" … but there are lots of choices in between. What do you enjoy doing? What do you dread? What is your pace, your favorite place, your perfect afternoon?
Who are you now? Who would you like to be in the coming year? What small step are you willing to take to inch ahead? Or maybe you are actually choosing to be as you are. Whatever it is, let it come from YOU, but first, take stock. I am.
Happy Holidays. Relax, Re-charge and be sure to Ring in the new year. See you in January. 2011 is our year.