It’s a new year at a time when nothing is as expected.
We have not as yet ‘unlearnt’ our normal habits though.
We feel loss for what isn’t happening that used to, seeing friends, routine, planning an outing.
We feel anxiety for what we have to do as a result; anti-bac’ing, home-schooling, zoom meetings that we have a feeling are bad for our eyes.
Where are we, how did we end up here?
What is the right approach at this time?
- Allow ourselves to pause?
- Write off this time as something to ‘get through’
- Put lots of attention into our home environment?
- Buy a big 2021 planner and go hard on the personal goals?
- Keep focusing on gratitude and all the things we do have rather than those we don’t?
All these options are currently being chosen and documented heavily on social media. As with all things, what works for one person isn’t necessarily going to work for you. Which brings me to the thing I really wanted to talk to you about today.
Not the people on your social account, not your friends, not your partner or kids.
Right now there are millions of voices on the internet calling you to do all sorts of things that will ‘improve’ you and your life in 2021. This is great, if you are anywhere near my age (41) you will know that when we were teens finding people beyond your friendship circle, let alone that could help you develop niche interests was pot luck. Particularly so if you didn’t’ live in a city. Now it’s a 1 second search away. You can literally do anything and as of 2020, you can do it from home. This is amazing. Empowering. Potentially lifechanging. You might change your career this year, even during a pandemic, it is not impossible.
There is however, this other thing called buyers remorse. Where you rush in to purchasing something, most often something that promises to ‘transform’ you in some way only to feel disappointed afterwards. Like you let the ‘moment’ take over and by that time those 3 digits on the back of your card were entered and the rest felt like some sort of trance. We want to avoid that.
I am someone who loves personal development. Ever since I had a bad patch of anxiety in my mid 30’s I have found it really beneficial to read, study and talk about feelings, goals and change – my own and other peoples. But even I am experiencing change overwhelm this January, so many deals, so many suggestions of things I’m neglecting, so many better ways to be. This year it feels more like stress than solution.
The only way that I have found to navigate January better this year is to at least once a day, describe to myself exactly how I am feeling. This isn’t easy at first but this super handy emotions wheel created by Lindsay Braman is one of the best I’ve found to help you expand your vocab on this topic and stop saying ‘fine!’ so often (click through to her page to get your own copy). The words I’m choosing this week show me this is not the month for me to be taking on a big new change programme, that can come later in the year if it feels right.
This January I am listening more to myself.
Putting more trust in my feelings to guide my actions.
That is what I truly believe will help me and you the most this year.
I’m gonna leave you with this quote from a book I am currently reading. I like it and I think it’s probably true.
To your success – whatever that looks like this month. There is no right way but there is your way.
And to the long view – 2021, 2022, 2023 and beyond.
Lets do this,