Everyone associates getting a fresh start and making resolutions with January 1st, but is that actually beneficial? How many times have you given up your resolutions by the end of February? And how many times have you beaten yourself up for that? Maybe it’s time to shift our perspectives and start making those goals in March!
1. January is a time for reflection, not creation.
So often we get caught up in the romantic notion of something being “our year” and want to have a tidy beginning and end date for that. But when we do this, we actually ignore our natural inclinations for the season.
December 21st is the beginning of the season of Winter. It is the Solstice and marks the shortest day of the year. January is cold, and wet, and especially in Wisconsin, a time to bundle up and stay in. All of these things make it a time to sit and reflect on your year. It’s a time to make a list of things you were grateful for and things you want to change, and ruminate on your experience.
2. You are not your true self in January.
Most people spend the last month of the year scrambling and having lots of emotions and stress pile up. You may feel bad about your body, the way you handled a relationship, your finances, or what you ate and drank the last month on January 1st. Those complicated feelings may not be how you always feel. It’s a huge reason why people begin quitting their resolutions after only a month or so.
That person who was struggling with how they were eating may not be the person who always is. So the intense new eating plan you throw yourself into in January, may not resonate with who you are in a time of less stress and less emotions. Creating your goals and actionable plans in March allows you to tap back into your normal life and really find out what you want in this next year.
3. You are not on a preset timeline.
The pressure we face when every person around us is starting Dry January, signing up for a Gym Membership, or beginning some other challenge is real! It can feel like you need to start something because someone else is and you want to feel that sense of camaraderie. That leads to even more guilt when we drop our resolution, or it can deter us from our goal if other people stop theirs.
By beginning your journey with small steps or even on a random Tuesday in March, you free yourself from the pressure of everyone starting at the same time. Your journey can just be yours, and you can find what you need from the experience.
4. The Spring Equinox is all about goal planning and the beginning of new things.
Think of yourself as a plant. Spring is when you need to get out and plant the seeds in order for the plant to grow. If you try to plant too early the ground is hard and not receptive to the new things trying to grow there. When it is beginning to warm up and the soil is willing to give a little, you can see the seeds thrive. When we give ourselves the rest of Winter and wake up renewed at the beginning of Spring, we are allowing ourselves the space to release and grow into the potential we see in ourselves.
I have to admit, I don’t really even like using the word resolution. I think shifting your thinking to seeing things you would like to change about your life and setting goals for the day, the week, the month, or even the season can be a lot more impactful and meaningful. This March re-examine those January goals and see what rings true.