Is that title presumptuous enough for you?
In all honesty, “A ‘New and Improved’ Way to Tackle the New Year” is my seemingly self-important way of saying, “Hey — I discovered something that I like better than the old way of doing things.”
And that new way is simply this:
Rather than put pressure on myself to be fully prepared for the new year on January 1 —
— the previous year’s activities and progress analyzed
— the new year’s goals entirely written out, with a rock-solid action plan included
— stirring up dust from a flurry of productivity, off to the races
… I decided that New Year’s Day is just another day. My new outlook is treating all of January as “New Year’s Month.”
That is to say, use the whole month as a springboard to start fresh. Take time to thoughtfully evaluate each aspect of life — personal, spiritual, health, relationships, business — and methodically determine what worked, what didn’t, and what needs to change.
With New Year’s Day as the third and final holiday in the “season” we in western culture are all pretty overloaded with activities and to-dos during the fourth quarter. All year, actually.
As I get older and more in sync with how I work best, I’ve realized that as a laid-back introvert, I move at a slower pace mentally than your classic type-A extrovert. I need more time to process and evaluate things.
In order to even begin processing things, I need to decompress from the busyness. That is a step that I can’t skip if I want to continue being effective. I need peace and quiet to be alone with my thoughts. That helps me unclutter my mind. Only then can I begin to work towards my strategic planning.
There is a whole lot of noise and fuss that goes on in the media space about the hubbub of starting fresh on January 1. That’s great, and there is no problem with that.
I’ve come to realize that a lot of that stuff is propagated by type-A extroverts who have programming to fill, or media content to create. That doesn’t mean that I need to blindly follow their lead.
Neither do you.
If you are one of those types, more power to you. I used to think I was. If you’re already moving 100 miles per hour, go you.
I’m just simply introducing the realization I had that we are all free to do things the way that works best for us as individuals. It was kind of a big deal for me to come to that conclusion.
How do you do your New Year planning?