It’s January 1st, 2019. It’s grey and cold outside and that third glass of prosecco that seemed like such a good idea last night is now making you feel slightly dizzy. You bravely get out of bed and head to the kitchen. While making a much-needed cup of tea you see your new paper agenda on your kitchen table -a gift from your bestie who knows how much you love a list- and it suddenly dawns on you: the new year has begun and it’s time to get cracking on those resolutions. You’d like to find a new job, start learning French, to Mary Kondo your closet…
The thing is the weather is really depressing, your warm duvet is waiting for you and to be honest you feel like doing nothing but going back to your bed and watch Netflix for 8 hours straight. You’ll start tomorrow, like everybody else. Fast forward to the present and now it’s the first week of March. January and February are long gone and you’re feeling down because it seems you’ll never achieve your goals.
However, I’m here to cheer you up and to tell you that March is THE perfect month to start working towards your goals. Moreover, you don’t need to feel guilty in the slightest for not having started yet. Here are some of the reasons why:
1. Longer, warmer days
Winter is a challenging season for most of us. The lack of sunlight and extremely short days make us feel tired all the time and not exactly motivated, making extra difficult to stick to those well-intentioned resolutions.
For instance, hitting the gym for the first time in ages during a snowy February morning can put anyone off exercise forever. On the other hand, come March and spring is finally around the corner. The temperatures are rising, helping our mood and making it easier to get out of the house for that yoga session or cooking class. Start working on a new habit in March and it’s more likely you’ll stick to your new routine.
2. Last year has finally been sorted out
During January and February, most of us are still working on stuff from last year. That presentation at work that got postponed due to the holidays, the long talk we need to have with our significant other, that Christmas gift you need to return. In short, before starting something new is better if you’ve already finished past tasks so you can focus your attention on your future plans. By March, you should be ready to take on new projects.
3. The pressure is off
On Christmas day I was driving back to London after a lovely break in Devon with my sister. Suddenly I felt like crying; the last thing I wanted to do was going back to my office the next day. My current position is not exactly my dream job and it can be extremely stressful and demanding. I knew many of my colleagues had already quit or were planning to do it soon, already on their way to something better. I seriously considered quitting as soon as I got to London, finally free to follow my passion. New Year, new me right?
However, I didn’t quit because I realized I needed more time to do some things that could help me achieve my goals, like updating my CV and putting more money into my savings account. My feelings were completely valid but the holidays and the pressure of the new year were making me rush into a situation I was definitely going to regret later. Since March started I’ve applied for several jobs; with an improved version of my CV in hand and a healthier savings account.
In conclusion: a year is long and you can -and should- take your time to make the changes you wish to make. If everyone else is making drastic changes as soon as the clock hits midnight it’s normal to feel the pressure, but you must remember only you know your personal circumstances and needs. Follow your gut.
4. You’ve had time to plan
Remember that shiny new planner that was ignored on New Year’s Day? you probably didn’t touch it for a couple of weeks, but after your schedule cleared a bit you started jotting down ideas and lists, right?
That’s perfect because real change takes time and planning. Good intentions only take us so far, but organizing what must be done will help us the days we’re feeling more like staying on the couch and less like working towards our goals.
For example, if your goal is to learn French you will need to write a list like this:
- Search the web for tutors/courses near your home or workplace
- Sign up for the classes/ pay the tutor
- Download Duolingo on your phone, so you can practice during your commute
- Make a playlist on Spotify with French songs
- Clear your schedule on Wednesday’s evenings, the day you chose to focus on your lessons and study for at least 1 hour
- Follow Instagram accounts who post one French word or phrase a day
Hope this post inspires you to start planning your 2019 and make it your best year to date. Do you guys believe in New Year’s resolutions? and if you do, how do you stick to them? Please, leave your anecdotes/tips in the comments!