I want to hold onto the magic of January and carry it with me through the year. I want to remember that there's always a chance at a fresh start.
You've felt it, right?
This time of year—the newness. The possibility.
And the realization that it's probbbbbably not going to happen.
That's where I am, 2 weeks into January.
I love the opportunity of a fresh start. So very much. New planners, Mondays, waking up early—it all makes me feel more capable. A reset is the very best thing.
But I also feel like maybe it's not going to work this year either. Like I know myself well enough to know that the second I feel tired (which is, wait, always), I'll put off the daily sit-ups until tomorrow. I'll eat more crap and write less often and drown my sorrows in peanut brittle while binging The Crown.
I know those things because they're easier.
But what if, instead, we considered that ease doesn't equal peace.
That's my plan, I think.
Yes, it's easier to keep lying in bed. Or to stuff Oreos in my mouth rather than make a filling lunch. It's easier to say I'm tired or worried or scared than it is to actually do the stuff that tips the scales.
I don't want to go through my life feeling like I can't wear certain things because I still have flab around the middle from three kids (4 years ago, most recently, btw).
I don't want to talk myself out of things that sound exciting because I'm worried that I'll fall into old habits of laziness over progress.
I want to hold onto the magic of January and carry it with me through the year. I want to remember that there's always a chance at a fresh start. That a reset is the very best whether it's January 1st or March 14th or November 9th. My chance to have what I want isn't gone just because the calendar has moved ahead without me.
So here's what I'm trying. Maybe it'll work for you too?
1. Lara Casey's tending list for monthly check-ins
So first of all, you'll need Power Sheets. They're a yearly goal-tracking system that is life-changing if you use it. You basically go through the process of writing out your goals, and the reasons behind them, and then have monthly practices to keep yourself on track with meeting them. The tending list is especially important here as it allows you to go through each of your goals and write down your progress toward them. This keeps everything front-of-mind and doesn't allow you to get too busy to be accountable.
I'm hoping this will help me remember what matters to me, especially when times get tough.
2. Time blocking a la the Fan the Flames Workbook
We all know I love this workbook. The purpose of it is to sort through the lifetime of baggage you're carrying around to find your passions and your purpose. And that's obviously something we've gotta do to move forward. Toward the back, there's a section that allows you to block out your week based on an ideal schedule. Now for this purpose, I think it'd make the most sense to block your schedule to allow for ideals while also keeping in mind the current state of affairs. The goal is that by seeing your week from a birds-eye-view, that you can find a place for all the things you think you don't have time for.
This should help me see everything I have to do and show me that there's certainly time for the things I want to do.
3. Cheryl Sandberg's spiral notebook method
OK so this is cool because you don't need to buy anything to make it happen. Except maybe a $.50 spiral notebook at Walmart. Cheryl Sandberg, Facebook tycoon and purposeful living pro, says that all she does to be productive is to make lists and tear them out. This works for me, especially when partnered with the above, because it's not regimented. Like at all. There's no system to get behind on or pages that feel wasted—it's just straight up tasks and straight up DONEs. I really liked reading how this went for an Entrepreneur staffer so check that out for sure if you're curious.
My aim for this is that it'll help me catch all the stuff that swirls around in my head but doesn't make it to my planner or Google Calendar.
4. Emily Ley's Sunday Prep
Last but not least, enter the art of preparation.
Usually I'm more of a squeal-into-work type of person on Mondays. I run around the house getting the kids ready after having slept late all weekend, put on whatever makeup I have time for, and roll into work behind the ball. I generally get it together about halfway through the day but that's a lot of time wasted. And that's where Emily Ley comes in. If you don't know her, she's a simplified living expert of sorts, who's spent the last few years finding ways to simplify and streamline her family's routines so that she can do the things that are important. Every Sunday, she preps. Everything from planning meals to grocery shopping to chopping strawberries so they're ready to eat, all the way over to double-checking her planner, doing a braindump, and synching her calendars with her work teammates is done before she goes to bed Sunday night.
The plan is that if I hit the ground running on Monday, there are less speed bumps along the way.
So here's the thing. Yes, we're halfway through January and lots of people have already fallen off the wagon by now. And maybe even more of them are like me and have been to scared to even look for the wagon, let alone get on it.
None of us is too late.
Yes there's magic in January but there's magic every stinking time we decide we're worth a fresh start too. It doesn't have to be today or even tomorrow, and it certainly didn't have to be January 1. We just need plans and some courage. And maybe a little accountability too while we're at it.
We're worth the risk, babes.
It's time to try.
It's time to begin.