I can’t believe we’re about to start the new year!
It’s actually crazy how fast time has gone.
It feels like only a few of weeks ago that I was waiting in the tinsel-covered checkout line at kikki.K, new diary in hand, feeling so hopeful and dreamy that I was about to start the new year – and now it’s nearly October!
And that brings up the question:
What should we do with this final quarter of the year? The quarter that is the least inspiring, the least productive and the easiest to neglect.
- just write it off (because we feel like we have to wait for that annual ‘clean slate’ before we can start doing something new)
- decide to relax and enjoy the silly season (ain’t nothing wrong with that)
- keep working on our new year’s goals if we can even remember them (and if this is the case for you then you are amazing!)
- start preparing and creating some momentum for what we want to achieve when we start the new year (which, as you might have guessed, is what this post is about)
- all and none of the above (i.e. not make any decision about what we’re going to do)
I’m writing this blog post because I realised that I’d ‘chosen’ what I described above as option 5 – indecision.
I’m quite a big fan of using indecision as a way to procrastinate. It’s a trap I find myself falling into quite often and I could quite happily spend the next 3 months toing and froing between the options so I never have to actually make a choice.
But once I realised that being indecisive (aka procrastinating) meant I would just be wasting the last 3 months of the year (in terms of getting shit done and kicking goals) I started thinking about what I could do instead.
Why do we wait to start the new year?
We all have that list of things we say we’d ‘like’ to do.
So it’s not like we’re at a loss for things we want to change.
But, even though it doesn’t really make sense, we often put off doing the things we would like to do because we’re waiting until we have the perfect conditions to do them. And for a lot of us, one of those ‘perfect conditions’ is that feeling of a fresh start that comes around only once a year.
I’m not saying that we need to make new goals at the beginning of October (though we definitely could) or that there’s anything wrong with using an arbitrary date like new years to reflect and set some goals.
I was just thinking that what if, instead of waiting until January 1 and having to start from a complete standstill, I just did a few things that would start creating a little momentum towards my goals before I would start the new year.
How I’m preparing to start the new year
One of my main goals to start the new year is to spend more time creating and less time consuming.
I love binging on my favourite TV shows and I devour podcasts and audio books. But I want to spend some of the time I use to watch TV to do things that are creative. And I want to actually put the amazing things I learn in podcasts and audio books into practice.
So instead of trying to change my creating and consuming habits dramatically in January next year, I’m going to use the rest of the year to just start creating a little momentum. I’m going to be overseas for all of November and December, but that doesn’t mean I have to wait until I get back in January to start working on this (even though it would be super easy to use my holiday as an excuse).
For the next few months I’ll be taking notice of how much I’m creating and how much I’m consuming. I’ll be carving some time out to do things that are creative and making sure I’m not automatically going to Netflix every time I’m looking for something to do. I’ll just be taking small steps towards my goal so that I don’t have to start from nothing in January.
Overcoming past experiences
It can be painful setting New Years goals, especially when we’ve struggled to follow through with them in the past. It can bring up a lot of disappointment, embarrassment and self-doubt and it can feel pointless or like we’re just setting ourselves up for failure.
Or it can be extremely exciting and inspiring, and we make plans to overhaul every area of our life all at once (this is what I do). But trying to change every aspect of our lives all at once soon gets too overwhelming and we end up doing none of it at all.
For the people who are in the first boat, building some momentum now can be a great way to get around your negative association with new year’s resolutions. By the time you start the new year you’ll already be on your way to reaching your goals and you’ll be that much more likely to actually follow through with them.
And for those of us in the second category, it can be great to do some goal-setting away from all the social media hype that comes along when we start the new year. If you’re the kind of person that wants to change every area of your life all at once, building momentum in one of those areas can be a great way to avoid the overwhelm that comes with setting a lot of goals.
If you create some momentum to start the new year, pick one thing to start working towards.
Working towards just one goal for the next 3 months is a great way to build some serious momentum by the new year (and if you really focus on one thing you’re much more likely to see results than if you kinda focus on a little of things).
What is your one thing?
How are you going to start the new year? And are you the kind of person that feels like you have to wait until January before you can do any serious goal-setting? I’d love to know!