Spring is in the air. There’s more daylight and more warm days to go around, the birds are busy, and buds are beginning to appear.
Back in January, when it was cold and dark and we were still recovering from the hustle and bustle of the holidays, many of us resolved to achieve some new goals in 2017. Well, we’re about a quarter of the way through the year. How’s it going?
If you’re like like most people, you gave up on your resolution weeks ago. According to U.S. News, 80 percent of New Year’s resolutions are tossed aside come February.
Why is that? Are most people just lazy, incapable, and undisciplined? Are our goals unrealistic and unattainable? Maybe.
Or maybe it’s a matter of timing. Is January 1, in the midst of winter, really the best time to set out to achieve new goals? According to ancient Chinese medicine, for example, one should live in harmony with the seasons, and winter is a time when life tends to recede into rest and hibernation. Days are shorter and we are beckoned to be gentle with our bodies and take care of ourselves by allowing restoration. It is also a good time for calm introspection and thinking.
Perhaps winter is the best time to enjoy restorative soups and teas, learn new ideas through books, and consider our own ideas through writing or simply daydreaming. Rather than rising in darkness for an early morning run or work session, for example, what if we allowed our body the rest it needs in preparation for the coming season?
Spring, in contrast, brings about an awakening. The earth warms, the sun shines upon us, and life begins to grow. The conditions to be creative and put goals into action—whether they’re related to fitness, finance, relationships, family, home life, career, creativity, or anything else—are now ripe.
More fresh air and sunshine energize us and propel us into action. The general energy of the season is more in line with the activity and movement that is necessary to take aim at new goals.
What if instead of embarking on our New Year’s resolution on New Year’s Day, we instead begin to think about our goals and spend the winter season pondering our objectives, learning, reflecting, and setting our aims.
Come spring, we can spring into action. In line with the season, it should be easier to maintain consistent effort toward achieving a goal. By the time next winter arrives, the effort should have become a habit.
So, don’t fret that you’ve failed to keep your New Year’s resolutions. Instead, take advantage of the coming spring energy. Reassess whether or not that goal you had on January 1 is still one you wish to pursue.
If it is, make it your own season of rebirth this spring, and go after it!