As the year comes to a close and the winter cycle takes hold, many people find themselves contemplating the infamous tradition of setting New Year's resolutions. However, for some, myself included, this annual ritual has become a thing of the past. Instead, I choose to embrace the winter season as a time of rest and stillness, postponing the pressure of resolutions until the last moon of the year which usually happens mid January.
In the Winter Cycle, It's Time to Rest: Winter is a season characterized by cold temperatures, shorter days, and a natural inclination to slow down but we rarely do slow down. With the pressures of family gathering, shopping, traffic, and trying to anticipate what we want in the new year we hardly give ourselves permission to slow down. Nature itself takes a break during this period, with many plants and animals entering a state of hibernation. Embracing this winter cycle, I acknowledge the importance of rest. It's a time to recharge, reflect on the past year, and appreciate the beauty of stillness.
Chop Wood and Carry Water: The ancient wisdom of the proverb "chop wood and carry water" encourages us to find joy in the mundane, daily tasks. Instead of focusing on grand resolutions, I choose to channel my energy into the simplicity of daily life during the winter months. This approach helps me cultivate mindfulness and a sense of purpose in the present moment.
Avoiding Early Failure: One common pitfall of New Year's resolutions is the tendency to set them too early, often amid the holiday hustle and bustle. The stress and distractions of the season can sabotage our well-intentioned goals before they even begin. By postponing resolution-setting, I give myself the opportunity to start afresh with a clear mind and a genuine commitment when the time is right.
Letting Myself Dream: Instead of setting concrete resolutions, I allow myself the freedom to dream during the winter months. I spend time contemplating what I truly desire in the upcoming year without the pressure of immediate action. This dreaming phase allows for exploration and creativity, paving the way for more authentic and meaningful intentions.
Writing Down Ideas Without Action: During this dreaming phase, I take the time to jot down my ideas without the expectation of immediate implementation. This process helps me organize my thoughts, clarify my priorities, and create a roadmap for the year ahead.
Closing Out the Year with the Last Moon: As the year draws to a close, I wait until the last moon of the year to reflect on the past and set my intentions for the future. In this case, January 11th 2024. This deliberate timing aligns with the natural rhythm of the universe and allows me to conclude the year with a sense of closure and not rushed to start a new on January 1st.
Starting Intentions on the New Lunar Year: Rather than conforming to the Gregorian calendar, I choose to synchronize my personal new beginnings with the new lunar year. In 2024 it will be the year of the Wooden Dragon! This aligns my intentions with the cyclical nature of the moon, symbolizing renewal, growth, and transformation.
By forgoing the pressure of New Year's resolutions and instead embracing the winter cycle, I find greater peace, mindfulness, and authenticity in setting my intentions. The intentional delay in resolution-setting allows me to enter the new year with a refreshed perspective, ensuring that my goals are genuine, meaningful, and achievable. As the winter cycle unfolds, I invite you to consider the wisdom of nature and the beauty of waiting for the right moment to embark on their personal journeys of growth and transformation.