We all want to be better people. To be becoming on purpose, to be contributing to the world, or to just be happier at home. The first week of the year is the time to review toward this purpose because… Because…
This week I realized I don’t know exactly why January 1st is the necessary time to set goals. Even annual goals. Is it because of the shiny new number on the calendar? Because the rest of the U.S. is doing it? Because the virtualsos on the internet are doing it?
I whole-heartedly believe in doing regular personal (and business) reviews. They take as many shapes as there are people; but whether a simple reflection on what’s working and what’s not, or a very detailed workbook of prompts to ponder, reviewing helps us go places on purpose.
I started the New Year excited about sitting down to contemplate this past year and codify the new one, but I couldn’t seem to get started. Reflections and possibilities roamed freely in my brain, but I was paralyzed from formally addressing them. To figure out what was going on, I tried a trick I (finally) learned last year: just start moving and the problem usually becomes apparent. And bingo. The allusive showed herself. Here’s where I went wrong.
I Tried To Tackle Too Much at One Time
Having not kept up with regular reviews, trying to catch-up AND newly contemplate all at once was just too much. Since I hadn’t thought specifically about each area recently, I probably need a few hours to thoughtfully engage each of the things I wanted to review, not a few hours for all of them combined. It was just too much.
The good news? Breaking it up really takes the pressure off. A little bit at a time is much more manageable than eating the whole elephant at once. It also allows for greater focus on the solitary topic at hand.
I Felt Shackled by Someone Else’s Time-frame
You know what? New Year’s is not the optimal time for me to review this year. While most people are getting back to work after the holidays, I’m about to leave on holiday. Which means that even if I DID complete an Annual Review, I wouldn’t be able to act on most new resolutions/aims for another month or so. Which means I’d spend the first month failing. Not a good thing for me, friends.
The good news? There’s no indisputable law that January 1st is the time for reviews. If February – or August for that matter – is the time when I have more brain space available, or the time that suits me better for whatever reason, then that’s a good time for setting long-term aims and goals.
It kind of left me wondering if I shouldn’t abandon the January thing in lieu of other long-term goal setting altogether; but I don’t think I’m ready for that just yet.
All Together Now
When it comes to larger-scale reviews and goal-setting, it’s much more important that a rested, capable you shows up than when exactly it takes place.
So if the first week of January isn’t the best time, let it go. Instead, take a few minutes to consider when would be a good time, tell a friend that you want to do it then and mark your calendar so you don’t forget.
I’ll be doing the same.
…how about you?…
Did you do any special reflecting for the new year? Do you do any sort of regular reviewing? Do you want to?