December and January. There are no two other months next to each other of such contrast. The former as the month of excess – both in spending, consuming and doing. The latter as the month of saving, dieting and getting back to work/staying in.
Of course, I’m talking generally here. Some people avoid going to extremes. But if a look at social media is anything to go by, we all seem to be in the same mindset – social media even whips up the ideas that ‘we should’ be spending this, going there, starting that diet, making these resolutions etc.
I’m not sure what I’m trying to get at here but I guess I’m trying to point out how it’s not very good. All this waste and excess and then a complete contrast the month after. On our way down to Cornwall this weekend, we stopped at a service station and the situation was highlighted. As everyone trooped past Costa, McDonald’s and Burger King to get to the toilets (joy!), I noticed people looking podgy, pale and generally a bit miserable. (Of course, a service station isn’t going to make anyone look excited and I count myself in this description…well, the pale bit!)
The good old Pagans, who have a belief system rooted in the ancient nature religions of the world, celebrate the winter solstice around December 21 which marks the return of the light after the longest night of the year. To them January was/is considered winter’s second month. Sometimes called ‘The Gate of the New Year’ and or ‘The Coming of the Dark’ – January stands for ‘Janus’ – the Roman God of Gates – the lord of new beginnings.
Anyhow, this is a ramble of a post but if you’re thinking of reviewing the year and looking forward with some goals as you enter the ‘gates’ of 2019, then I would recommend these ‘Five questions to get you where you want to be in 2019’ by Life Coach Laura Duggal:
1. What went well this year? Make a list, draw a mind map, whatever works for you, but capture everything positive that happened this year. It can be in your personal life, your work life, your family. To get you started, here are some examples – Maybe you got a promotion, earned more money, maintained a friendship, coped with something difficult, stood up for someone else, presented something, won something, got fit, ate healthily…Start writing. If you’re worried that you won’t have anything to say, just get started, you might find there’s more there than you think!
2. What didn’t go well this year? Have a think about the things you wish you’d achieved, maybe you could have handled something better, you didn’t get the promotion you wanted, you lost touch with someone, you didn’t get out of your comfort zone..again, get jotting all your ideas down, Anything that’s a niggle that could have been better.
3. What have you learnt from these things? How did you make all the thing happened that went well? What about the things that didn’t go well, would you do anything differently in retrospect? Spend some time really thinking about what you’ve learned in the last 12 months.
4. Where do you want to be this time next year? Really think about this. When you picture yourself in December 2019, what’s different? Where are you working? Who are you with? What are you wearing? What are you celebrating?
5. How are you going to get there? This is where it all comes together. Take all the things you learned in 2018 and create your strategy for how you’re going to get there in 2019. What are you going to do? What are you NOT going to do?
Another great idea from Laura is to come up with a word (or words) to keep coming back to over the year to remind yourself of what you want to achieve. For example, mine is ‘Be Creative’ – despite worrying a bit about any money coming in, my main aim is to take a chance with writing and pursuing opportunities in this area. My husband’s is (I’ve been asking everyone!) ‘take a chance’ and my friend’s is ‘be myself’ – It’s amazing how quickly you come up with it and how centred it can make you feel. What would your word or words be?
Thanks to Laura for letting me share her advice. I would highly recommend a session with Laura and if you would like some help setting these goals you can book in for a free short call to talk about how she can support you. Call Laura on 07793 122191 or send a message on Facebook or Instagram
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