Stepping Gently into the New Year

It’s January, and for most of us, it’s getting back to the grind as we head back to work and our routines and leave behind the holiday celebrations. It is also the time when we are supposed to have started our new year’s resolutions. And how’s that going for you?

We have the fantasy of starting the new year with a bang and hitting the ground running, but in reality, most people get off to a sluggish start. This happens because most people end up feeling overwhelmed and under-motivated; and some have already given up and abandoned ship. It ends up being just as brutal as January’s winter weather.

January is a powerful time to start fresh, get energized, and embrace the new year. Before you get paralyzed by those new year resolution blues, here are a few things to consider:

First of all, when you embark on a new chapter of your life, you need to make time to reflect on what is important to you, align those values with your goals, and release what no longer supports your dreams. In order to do so, you need to lean into the winter and harness its power and wisdom.

Just like nature, winter is a time to slow down and focus on rest and restoration. It is a time for quieting the mind, checking inward with yourself, and listening to the whispers of your dreams.

January is the month we need to recover from all of the busyness of the holiday season as well as from the past year.  

It is essential to nurture your core self by tuning in and digging deep into your soul in order to receive those divine downloads. Instead of the hustle and bustle of rushing into a frenzy with high expectations, it would be more efficient to ease back into the new year with a more gentle way of being. The winter magic lies in resting and quieting the mind as you prepare for great things to happen, much like letting the soil rest so it can replenish its nutrients before you plant the new crops of seeds.

You do not have to do everything all at once or totally change overnight. Nor should you rush to judgment and beat yourself up when things don’t go as planned. This will only lead to more stress, frustration, depression, and self-doubt. The quality of your life is determined by the quality of your thoughts; therefore, become aware of how you choose to respond to your life circumstances and realize how powerful your responses can be in dealing with life.

Instead of harsh criticism and coming up short, give yourself permission to be gentle and show some grace and kindness towards yourself. Self-compassion will allow you to focus and reset. A more mindful approach will help you reframe your goals. Each day and each month is an opportunity to remind yourself of your intentions. A calm mind will lead you to find solutions and progress towards your plan while you maintain clarity and motivation. 

And last but not least, always remember that you are not broken, nor is there anything wrong with you. Where you are now and how you are at this moment is OK. You don’t need fixing or punishment. You need to start the new year by loving and accepting yourself. Be committed, but not rigid. Keep your eye on the ball, but also learn to be flexible. 

Create the intention of self care as you contemplate what your next chapter in life will be without forcing or adding extra pressure. Take meaningful action with your mind, heart, and purpose. Look forward to reaching your aspirations by easing into your dreams with grace, hope, and joy.  

Here’s to gently embracing your New Year! 

Antoinette Giacobbe M.A.