Spring is in the air. There’s more daylight and warm sunshine to go around, birds are chirping away, and buds are beginning to appear.
Back in January, when it was cold and dark and we were still recovering from the holidays, many of us laid out a vision for the new year ahead, defined some goals, and set our New Year’s resolutions.
Well, we’re about a quarter of the way through the year. How’s that going?
If you’re like most people, you gave up on your resolution weeks ago. It’s estimated that 80 percent of new year’s resolutions are tossed aside by the second week in February.
Why is that? Are most of us lazy and undisciplined? Are our goals unrealistic and unattainable?
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 encouraged 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 pushing through tough workouts in early morning darkness, for example, what if we prioritized things like rest and gentle stretching, preparing our bodies for the coming season?
Spring, by 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, education, 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 necessary to take aim at new goals.
What if instead of embarking on our New Year’s resolutions 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 leap into action. Acting in line with the energy of the season, it should be easier to maintain consistent effort toward achieving a goal. By the time next winter arrives, the effort might have become a habit.
So don’t fret that you’ve failed to keep your New Year’s resolutions. Instead, take advantage of the dawning spring energy.
Reassess whether or not that goal you had on January 1 is still one you wish to pursue. Set a vision for the future regarding the different areas of your life. Aim for incremental improvements over the long haul, celebrate progress rather than perfection, feel the sunshine in your face as you go, and spring into action!