As someone who loves setting a goal, mapping out vision boards, and adding things to my “to manifest” list, I love New Year’s. The first of the year is ripe with possibilities, and the hope of a fresh start is a January 1 feeling that will never get old. The few weeks before, however, are a different story.
The last two months of the year are arguably the busiest for many. As we end the year with major holidays, jam-packed schedules, and an underlying pressure to make the season magical, it’s basically a recipe for burnout. Then there’s that pesky week between Christmas and New Year’s that’s usually a haze of naps, leftovers, and the feeling of not knowing what day it is. Then boom: 2024 is upon us.
In theory, you could try to map out your year in between shopping for gifts and baking cookies—or during that brief span of time after Christmas—but if you ask me, I need to take a little breather somewhere! Which is exactly why I’m cutting myself some slack and not worrying about setting 2024 goals or intentions by January 1. If you too want to take a softer start to the new year, you’re in the right place. Let your shoulders relax, take a deep breath, and read on for a few tips on how you can ease into 2024 feeling calm, grounded, and confident without setting resolutions by New Year’s Day.
1. You need time to truly rest
If you’re feeling totally wiped out by the end of the year, looking ahead to next year might feel overwhelming. Instead of adding more to your plate, take some things off if you can and make time for true rest. That might be easier said than done, especially if you’re someone who prioritizes productivity or feels like you need to be doing something at all times (speaking from experience here). Just remember that giving your mind and body time to relax and reset will actually help you get clear on New Year’s resolutions and goals when the time is right. So clear your schedule, plop yourself on the couch, and enjoy—whether that’s at the end of December or in the middle of January. You’ve earned it!
2. It’s important to look back before you look forward
Reflecting on the past year is always a good idea before you decide what you want to pursue in the new year, and it’s OK to reflect well into January if that’s what feels right. What were some 2023 highlights? What did you learn? How would you do things differently in the upcoming year? The highs and lows of 2023 can help you decide how you want to shape 2024, and you can reflect in any way that feels good to you. If you like journaling your thoughts, grab your pen and paper for a 2023 brain dump. You could also chat with a loved one about your year or reflect quietly in meditation if that’s what you prefer. There’s no right or wrong way to reflect and set intentions, and the timeline can be uniquely yours.
3. Allowing yourself to daydream is key
If you’ve had a hectic holiday season, you may be craving some quiet time, which is the perfect time for allowing your mind to wander and daydream. The best ideas always seem to come when we’re relaxed and doing simple tasks like driving, showering, or doing chores like laundry or cleaning. Turn off your devices, limit distractions when you can, and let yourself daydream about the year ahead. This doesn’t even have to be set intentional time—just allowing yourself time to rest and relax can encourage your mind to wander, perhaps even leading you to a really cool vision of your future.
4. Simple intentions can have a big impact
Depending on the year you just had, maybe setting super-specific New Year’s resolutions is exactly what you need. But there’s also a lot of merit in keeping things simple. If you don’t have any specific goals for 2024, try choosing a word or a simple mantra that can act as your North Star throughout the year. For example, 2023 for me was all about having more fun. My previous words of the year have included “joy,” “courage,” and “power.” Even without knowing exactly where these words would take me, they each guided me in decisions I made throughout the year and helped me establish daily routines and habits. I did indeed have more fun in 2023 than I have in a long time, and I know it’s because of the intention I set for myself in January.
5. It’s OK to take your time
If you feel like you’re already behind with setting New Year’s resolutions, consider this your permission slip to not worry about it. It’s totally fine if you don’t know what you want to focus on in 2024 yet or aren’t sure if you even want a vision in the first place. Instead of thinking of January 1 as a deadline, try reframing January as a whole month to reflect, set intentions, and create goals for the year ahead. No need to rush—simply trust in the timing of your life. You got this!
Source: Cosmo Politian