I know the new year started 3 weeks ago, but I intentionally decided to start my year on January 23rd.
Last week of the year my son was out of school and I enjoyed being home and doing only what I felt like doing. I ordered in instead of cooking, only made plans when invited and woke up late.
Before this though I had to contend with the external buzzing of people pressing to ‘make the last week of the year count! Cram it in before 2022 ends’ type of talk. And that quickly combines with new years resolution talk, goal-setting aims.
That’s a lot of pressure for a time of year we’re supposed to have off, no?
I knew that the first week of January was going to be our family’s re-entry to work, school and routines. The second I had planned for a trip to Mexico (flights and hotels are less expensive then). And the third week I figured I’d need time to readjust back into post vacation life.
So that brought me to January 23rd as the first date I felt I could get the ball rolling. I decided that I would not put pressure on myself to drive hard into Accomplishing Things or push myself into anything until that time. I would take that time to re-adjust, enjoy and simply be. And it wasn’t that easy, I found.
The result of starting late
I found that after my vacation I got motivated to meal prep for 5 days in a row. I have never eaten the same meals for 5 days in a row – ever. EVER. And I enjoyed it! I was open to different experiences because there was nothing, I was feeling pressure to complete.
Anything I did, I wanted to
Things I wanted came to the surface, unencumbered by the weight of daily responsibilities that I put upon myself. When I looked back, I thought, yes, this was needed, because I had been pushing myself nonstop for four months and I needed to recharge.
So now, I’ve planned my next sprint weeks and also decided to plan my next ‘time off’. Seeing my calendar blocked out with ‘break weeks’ makes me feel:
- Excitement for the opportunity to relax and also motivation for the immediate future of what I’m going to accomplish
- Guilty that I am not doing more
Rest is not optional
We all know rest is important – daily rest in the form of a good night’s sleep, time away from work, etc. We also need to rest and recover from all the priorities in life. It doesn’t necessarily mean you go on a two-week cruise or hole up in a hotel getting room service and massages. It just means you take the pressure off yourself. Don’t commit to anything other than the immediate needs of yourself and your immediate family. Consider your feelings before you do anything during this time. That’s all. You’ll still be doing quite a bit – and it will drive you forward into your future self and not burning out your present self.