There are many ways to describe the new year reset period – when one year ends and all of its goals and resolutions go with it, to be replaced with the fresh page of a new year. We like to think of this time a bit like a wardrobe cleanse. The change of season moment where you take stock of what you have in there, what you might be ready to part with, what you might want to bring out from the deep dark corners of it, and where you can clear space for the fresh new ‘fits to come.
In order for new goals, rituals, memories to lodge themselves into your life, you need to make room. So, here are some tips for cleansing, refreshing and resetting in time for the new year.
Tap your memory
Cast your mind back over the year. Scroll your camera roll for memory cues. Scan your calendar or diary for event prompts. If you keep a gratitude journal, flip back through the pages to see what you’ve felt most grateful for over the past year.
Host a year in review
Make the most of your reflection by figuring out what to keep, carry forward, and leave behind. Thinking about all of the moments you conjured above, jot down:
· The ‘good things’ that you would like to take with you, and do more of
· The challenges you would like to leave behind
· The things you wish you could change – or introduce
Focus on what fits
The highlights of your year, the moments of joy, the themes of gratitude – what were they? What do they all have in common? Finding the commonalities between your ‘good things’ can give you an idea of how to find more ‘good things’. For example, does a certain group of people make you feel your best? Maybe you could start a dinner club with them. Have you discovered that lazy Sundays are your favourite self-care ritual? Maybe you could create a new list of self-care indulgences to try each Sunday (sleep ins and pyjamas included, of course).
Discard what doesn’t serve you
Take the challenges that you would like to leave behind, and tear them into pieces, scribble them out, scrunch them up and throw them into the fireplace. Say goodbye. They live in 2023 and you are moving on.
Sure, resolutions can be hard to stick to. But despite a fair ‘fail’ rate on resolutions, research has shown that having a resolution is still more likely to create change over having no resolution, and that people are more successful at keeping approach-oriented goals (such as changing sleeping habits) rather than avoidance-oriented ones (such as cutting out coffee). Remember the idea of making those Sunday sleep-ins part of a self-care routine? That’s an approach-based goal. So is introducing a 5-minute meditation before bed. Resolutions (or goals) don’t need to be drastic or grand to make a difference to your wellbeing.
Finally, make a plan
As Antoine de Saint-Exupéry wrote, “a goal without a plan is just a wish”. So, once you’ve taken stock of 2023 and decided on some things you’d like to make happen in 2024, plan your first step. Make it concrete and actionable – something you can ‘tick off’ your list. And don’t make it too difficult, you want to give yourself an easy win or two to keep the motivation up. Maybe it’s as simple as telling your friends that Sundays are reserved for you.
Good luck. And here’s to 2024 being your dreamiest year yet…