“Happy” New Year?

To be honest, I haven’t been a fan of celebrating or even acknowledging New Year’s Eve for the longest time.  In fact, I did my best to avoid it!

 December 31st is a day when many people will go out and celebrate bringing in the New Year! And others are just trying to get through the day, feeling like there is nothing to look forward to.

 Over the past several years, I have discovered a plan, an intentional process that works for me and has actually been something that I look forward to!  If you are like me, I thought I’d share it with you.

 (NOTE: Tweak and edit the details below to align with your best YOU. Also, if you are in a season of life where you look forward to celebrating bringing in the New Year, then by all means, go for it!  Again, this is your best YOU! I applaud you.)

 Let’s start with changing our perspective from a difficult season/holiday to what is important to you with 3 simple steps by focusing on what you already possess and what you want to accomplish.

 1.     Be Reflective

I know, I know, this may be the hardest part but stay with me here. I am convinced that you have to know where you came from before you know where you are going.

 It doesn’t mean that you camp out here. But it is important to take stock.

 I would spend the day fasting. This can look like several different things. It is not about giving up food, although it could be. Maybe it is social media, texting, or television. Whatever has your attention most of the time, set it aside at least for the day. This is your day! Choose wisely. Choose what works for you. 

 By removing distractions, it helps me to focus on what is important.

 Depending on the weather, I would go for a walk, appreciating the wonders and beauty of the outdoors. I would then spend time reflecting on the past year, what worked, what didn’t work. I actually have a series of questions that help me think through the details and I write them down. I have done this alone and I have done it with my bestie, someone who knows me really well. Either way it is powerful. And…doing it with someone else, keeps you accountable to not skip a question just because you don’t like how you will answer it.

2.    Go Forward

I bet some of you may be thinking, “I don’t have anything to look forward to. Michele, you don’t know my life right now. “

 You are right. I don’t know your life. But I do know pain and grief and hopelessness. Trust me, there IS something in your life that you can set a goal or can plan for in the coming year. This will help you to look and move forward.

By taking the time to be brutally honest in my reflection time, I came to the realization that I needed to get back to dancing. So I decided, “this is the year I dance again.” It was a passion that was absent in my life for over 15 years. But this “aha” started a new plan and something to look forward to that has led me back to a long forgotten love and passion.

If you are struggling with this one, perhaps it’s time to bring in someone who can be objective. The fight on the battlefield whether in war or in sports, is won with a game plan and a strategy.  So why wouldn’t you not have one for your life? You can do this at anytime of the year but there is something about turning over into a new year that speaks to a fresh start! 

3.     Just Relax

I would end the day with watching a movie. For you, maybe it’s reading a book, watching a game, soaking in a bubble bath. The key is to do something that will relax you. Start the New Year calm.

Then I would go to bed. I don’t stay up until midnight. I don’t need to nor do I want to. For me, it’s not emotionally healthy.

January 1st is coming in whether I am awake or not.

Remember, these are things that have worked for me. My desire is that they will give you ideas and even some hope that you do have something to look forward to.

It is time to change your focus.