Winter is the harbinger of spring. Winter is the sleep before the awakening. Winter is the time when little things happen in preparation for spring’s bursting forth. As nature in the winter prepares for budding trees and flowers, you should take this time to prepare for your budding and bursting forth. In the northern hemisphere, winter and the New Year coincide. What little things are you going to do to prepare for the coming spring?
While this time of year is common for most of us to think about improving ourselves and committing to a New Year’s resolution or three to support that change, it seems to me that evaluating yourself is good to do any time of year, not just for a new year. In fact, I’ll argue that if we regularly evaluate our lives and act on our insights, we wouldn’t need to make New Year’s resolutions.
Furthermore, I’ll propose that taking baby steps, rather than huge leaps, is a more effective way of making change. If you want to make a New Year’s resolution, make it a decision about which one bad habit you want to stop, to replace with a good habit.
Have you noticed that more coaches and thought leaders are arguing that making New Year resolutions is fruitless, and each person has a different set of reasons for why they are fruitless — and solutions for how to make them beneficial? Let me throw my voice into this discussion by removing the New Year aspect to resolutions and self-improvement and issue some questions you can use throughout the year to help you evaluate what’s working in your life and what you’d like to work better.
Your any-time-of-year self-improvement questions are: “Why is this area of my life not working for me? What can I do about it?” If you can find even one tiny change to make in your life that will improve things, you’ll find that your life will continually progress toward the goals you have set for yourself. Regularly taking those baby steps gets you more of what you want — better relationships and health, staying on track with your mission(s), joy, peace, self-growth, and success.
That’s the path to high performance. That’s what New Year resolutions are all about.
Don’t wait for January 1st to roll around to make big resolutions that too often fail. Treat each day as the first day of your year and make little tweaks to the areas of your life in which you want to see improvement. If you do that you will see the undulation of life even out and stay on a gentle upward path to your better life.
Winter is great for hibernating. Do you want your life to hibernate, too? With the right habits and attitude, you can have spring budding forth in your life daily. Growth is the natural progression of things. Stagnation isn’t healthy, and can often lead to winter hibernation or death.
What area of your life is not working for you? What can you do about it? Today.