“Oh, because the stores are decorated and they are playing Christmas carols on the radio?”
“No, it feels like the end of the year. It’s time to stay in our pajamas and watch Netflix.”
I like her thinking. Who couldn’t do with some extended downtime? No rush, no fuss, feeling like all the have-to’s are behind us as we take a deep breath, settle into the couch cushions, and watch something interesting on the screen. Doesn’t this sound divine? The holidays can exert so much stress and tension as we try to please our loved ones and meet expectations.
Plus, I think we would all agree that 2014 has been a challenging year. Much has transpired and we all have covered some bumpy terrain. Both our inner and outer landscapes have felt the shifting. And there are the damnable sink holes and incoming fly balls that have stopped many of us in our tracks.
The PJ-Netflix model feels like a hall pass into the New Year. We can arrive rested and ready for the energies of the New Year. However, given the realities of holidays, end-of-year reports, school pageants, volunteer hours, and everything else that pulls and tugs for our time and attention, what can we do to slide easily and intentionally into the New Year?
- Create time-outs
These are adult time-outs where you schedule 30, 60, 90 or whatever-can-work minutes and devote these precious minutes to recharging and re-nourishing yourself in whatever way works for you. These bite-size vacations allow you to simply be and allow and take-in and slow down. Needless to say, these time-outs need not be solitary. You may want a play pal to sweeten your experience.
Years ago, during the last month of frenzy during my senior year in college, I jumped into my friend’s little back VW bug, aka Black Bart, and we rolled down the windows, cranked up the tunes, and sang loudly as we went “skidding around” the tree-lined back roads near our college. To this day, that particular experience brings a smile. The moment was all about freedom and completion and possibility. It was an A+ time-out.
These time-outs can work magic on your well-being. Start thinking about how you might make these mini-breaks a regular part of your (over)scheduled life. And if you need further justification, fun puts us in present time, aids and abets our creativity, and the break in the action leads ultimately to more optimal work function. All that — and you can take a breath.
- Wrap up the old year
Self-reflection is empowering as well as helpful in making sense of our upside lives. Consider these questions in light of this calendar year. You may well have a string of responses for each question. Allow yourself to sit with these questions, perhaps, journal about them and see where they take you.
- What made me the happiest during 2014?
- Where am I ready to forgive myself?
- What I am ready to let go of in 2015?
- What did I learn about myself?
- What made me grateful?
- Identify your word for the New Year.
Like a mission statement, this is your mission word (or phrase). What would you like to be the overriding focus for your upcoming year? For example, it could be peace of mind, happiness, healing, letting go of fear, being open to the new, creativity, finding the many faces of love, connection, and so forth.
To get to this word, what direction do you lovingly and consciously want to take? There is no right or wrong. This is very personal and all about placing your attention on your intention. Here’s the formula for you to consider: Attention + Intention + Emotional Buy-in = Power.
Let me explain:
If we take our attention (where we place our focus), and couple it with our intention (what we want to make happen), and infuse it all with feeling (not just thinking it’s a good idea, but feeling deeply that this is what we want). We have a map for personal power.
If you discern your mission word or phrase for the New Year — which is akin to attended intention — and feel deeply within your being that this is what you really, really want and commit to maintaining your mission, you are on the road to creating the life you want. How sweet is that?
Now, go put on those cute jammies and get comfy. It’s time to reset the clock, get recharged, and prepare for a personally satisfying New Year.
PS Will you bring the popcorn?