December is great and all, but sometimes it’s hard not to feel the weight of the year on our shoulders. Traditionally the festive season is the big party blow-out to celebrate a year of hard work – at least that’s what it feels like… but what if we want that clean slate and fresh start a month earlier than planned?
I know it’s not applicable to everyone, but if you’ve had a nightmare year, a nightmare month or just want to feel fresh and ready for the Winter-to-Spring Season without dragging the same vibe around for the next month, that an early fresh start may be exactly what you need.
Personally, I’m embracing this whole fresh start thing right now. With a new job, a new (old) bedroom, so new goals and a nightmare few months that I want to leave behind as quickly as possible, embracing my fresh start in December and not January is an ideal scenario.
The big elephant in the blog post is, of course, how to imitate that fresh start when it’s not a crisp, fresh January – but rather the opposite.
Social events, jam-packed schedules, presents to buy and crisps and cakes available every evening means that it can be hard to change habits and the temptation to push a fresh start back and sit in your comfort zone is high – really high.
It’s possible though.
If you really want it then you can start to implement your new year right now – and probably have a better Christmas for it.
Just imagine on January 1st when the rest of the world is getting up and considering whether to postpone the changes they want to make for another year, we’ll be happy with our new habits and be feeling more ready than ever to make the most of the next whole year – none of which will be spent pondering about whether to initiate that change or not – it’ll already be done.
Here are a few things that I’ve been doing now – all of which are helping me feel like my fresh start has arrived early. If you too want to feel that wave of motivation that screams ‘this is it, I’m ready to be who I want to be’ then do these things right now:
Decide on your new year goals/resolutions
Okay, maybe not all of them, but throwing together a rough plan of what you’d like to get done in the new year will keep you ahead of the crowd. When everyone is disputing their new year’s resolutions on NYE you’ll be completely clear on what you want, why and how you’re going to get there.
Even if you don’t make a start on your goal until 2018 rolls around, knowing your plan means that you can completely relax for a few weeks – maybe actually indulge in the highly coveted Christmas shutdown.
For example, right now I know that I want to triple my monthly blog views. Knowing this and knowing the reasons why (which you’ll find out about soon) means that I can start working on how. Genius right?
Wear your ‘new year-new me’ clothes
You might wonder why the picture on this blog post is a silver bag… well, it’s because I bought that silver bag a few weeks ago and automatically felt scared to wear it. I felt like I hadn’t ‘grown into’ it yet, that I needed ten new pieces before I could make it look good, basically feeling as if the bag was my next chapter – and I wasn’t ready for it.
What a load of bullsh*t – right?
Now I’ve been wearing the bag and I’ve already broken down that barrier of the person I want to be being a million miles away from the person I am. Okay, it might not be as simple as a statement bag, but it’s step one of many – and I’m making sure I fit them all into my next clean slate.
Put a new boundary in place (and follow it)
It might be refusing to chase clients that don’t respect you enough, it could be to keep work at work and home at home, or it could be a boundary to improve your current relationship. Whatever it is, get ahead of the game and implement it now. There are enough changes that happen in the new year, so changing something now makes it a) more likely to stick and b) less likely to get caught up in the false momentum of change.
Putting the boundary up now gives other people the chance to get used to it, before their own wheels of self-improvement start turning – i.e. when they can’t be bothered to remember or respect your new boundary because they’re too busy crying about weight watchers yoghurt. Do the hard work now and enjoy the new year.
Change your attitude about one thing
It’s a lie when we say we don’t want to better ourselves every year. Even though you’re amazing already we’re all guilty of having pitfalls. It could be your attitude towards work *cough cough*, it could be seeing yourself as a failure or it could be something silly like refusing to shop in Primark even though you could do with saving a few pennies and love what the Primarni bloggers are wearing.
It can be big or it can be small, what matters is that if changing your attitude towards it (or at least starting that process of change) will help you achieve your goals, directly or indirectly, makes it a good thing – and doing it now gives you some peace and quiet.
January is the month of change, so squeezing some changes in beforehand lessens the competition of change drastically and, like my other points, makes the real fresh start in January feel so much easier.
Do you struggle to make traditional changes in January? Are you going to make some changes before the new year panic hits and bypass the extra pressure of the clean slate (almost dauntingly clean on January 1st)?
Let me know in the comments if you’re starting early or if you like the planning and implementation in January of each year. I’d love to hear how you cope with the market of January change.
Did you know that I’m doing Blogmas this year? Check out my other festive posts right here.