Why you should make your New Year’s resolutions now.
For a few weeks now I’ve had the urge to have a good old clear out. I’ve had a sort through papers and books, gone through the cupboards and got rid of all the things I no longer need or use. I thought it was just one of those moods I have now and then, but it has persisted longer than normal and it made me wonder “what is the autumn equivalent of spring cleaning?”
Because it definitely feels like a seasonal thing. I feel like my body clock has got confused and thinks it is new year. I’ve been sorting through cupboards and drawers, making trips to the charity shop (where does all this stuff come from?) and generally cleaning and clearing. And it’s not just the physical clutter. I’ve been shaking off old thoughts and mind-sets, trying to work out what I want and where I want to be heading. Making a few resolutions about the things I should or shouldn’t be doing (go swimming twice a week, keep in touch with people more, do more writing) It all feels very ‘January’.
And then I was listening to the radio the other morning and there was a guest on who was a wellbeing expert. And they were pretty much saying the same thing. That autumn is a time for taking stock. For making decisions about your life, for clearing out the clutter mentally and physically. Most of us, if we are lucky have had a week or two on holiday. Away from all of our stuff, we properly relax. No feeling bad about that thing we are supposed to fix, or about not seeing so and so. There’s no shopping or washing to do. We start to look around us a bit more. We sit outside in the evenings with a glass of wine, looking at the sea, listening to the wind in the trees, or the birds. Life slows down. We sleep better and spend days out doing things we enjoy with the people we love and we slowly start to feel different. We spend whole days reading, relaxing, indulging in the precious luxury of time and giving ourselves permission to do the things we enjoy and that make us feel like us. We start to feel alive in a different way. Alert to possibility and opportunity. Our world starts to expand and we see beyond the daily routines. Life looks different and our priorities change. We realise that despite the fact we work hard every day to get the things we want, we are at our happiest away from them. When we just have the things we need life feels good. It is more simple and less stressful.
This is the time when we should be making decisions and reassess where we are and where we want to be. When we are rested and refreshed and have spent time in nature, with our friends and family. After some time away, we can more easily see the bigger picture and have experienced again the simple pleasures in life that nurture and nourish us. So why not re-evaluate and make those decisions now. Don’t wait until after Christmas, when you are tired and cold and lacking sunshine. When you have eaten too much and haven’t exercised and are feeling miserable because it’s dark all the time. Any decision you make in that state of mind isn’t going to be realistic, or probably achievable. You certainly won’t have the motivation or energy to see it through for very long (unless you are super disciplined and amazing which I definitely am not!).
If you are feeling the same urge as me to clear out the mental and physical clutter, and reassess where you are at, go with it and see where it takes you. It may just be your mind telling you it’s in the right place to make some decisions. Trust the instinct and if nothing else, you’ll have a clean and tidy house! And if you are not feeling it, why not give it a try anyway, be a bit ‘January’ in September and see if you stick with your goals for longer.
For me, my goal is to try to keep the balance a bit more. Try not to frazzle myself into thinking I have to get it all done and get it done now. I’m going to keep up the clearing out and I’m going to use this new season’s energy to try out some different painting styles. I’ve got an idea about a new style with oil paints, plus two new Hatchard’s bookshop paintings to get underway for their bespoke card range. I’m also introducing some new designs into my existing greetings card range. To balance all this activity with some stillness I am going to slow down with 10 minutes of Tai Chi every morning and have more time set aside just to think and daydream, no screens allowed!
How about you? What will your September resolutions be?
Thanks so much for reading this far. I’d really love to hear your thoughts on anything I write about, so please do join in with a comment or two.
If you enjoyed reading this post, I think you might like the one I wrote about Spring. You can find it here