Happy New Year!
Happy New Year!
New beginnings can be exciting and daunting all at once, can't they? Some, like the start of each new year, represent another try, a fresh go at activities and relationships we're already engaged in, while other new beginnings are weightier. A new marriage, a new job, or a new educational direction can carry the yoke of deeply held hopes.
In my town there is a New Year's tradition that I quite appreciate for its symbolism even if I can't bring myself to participate in it. It's not unique, maybe you have an event like this near you: The first day of every year, hundreds of people take a run in the crisp cool air (this isn't the part I eschew) and then they change into their swimming suits and jump into the frigid water of one of our lakes, immersing themselves completely. They baptize themselves into the new year!
I get a kick out of watching such craziness, but I like to start my new year with a little more reflection (by a warm fire with a cup of tea):
The first two weeks of every January, I spend some time writing about the previous year and crafting my goals for the next. Below are the questions I use for journaling this process. Why not give them a try now? Here are my journaling prompts:
As you can see, this is a simple process. But it works! It works because the focus is not on changing anything essential about yourself. There is nothing shaming or condemning about these questions. There is no need to go back and look at your failures or to decide there is anything problematic or pathological about you. The key is breaking down the goal into bite-sized, achievable steps.
If you have a specific goal you’d like to work toward but feel stuck as you go through this process, stay tuned here. I'll be offering encouragement throughout the year. We're in this together! Besides, we're not getting any younger, so let's seize the day and reach for our dreams in 2013.
Happy New Year, Second Wind-ers! I look forward to hearing from you as you report on your successes and wins!