Good intentions for the new year

Good intentions for the new year photo

I’ve seen plenty of them come and go around the new year: good intentions. By the time the first signs of spring emerge, they’ve often been thrown out of the window. And that’s a shame, because many good intentions are just that, good. They typically involve changing matters that people know are necessary. Like exercising more, eating better, meditating, that sort of thing.

As far as I’m concerned, it’s perfectly logical that good intentions that were initiated on January 1st have a short life span. At that time of the year, we’re still fully immersed in our hibernation. We rest during the darkest time of the year so that when the light returns, we can get back to full action mode. At least, that’s what we’re made for. In our current society, following our natural rhythm is generally far from evident. And I’m not just talking about the artificial daily rhythm that many of us adhere to. To be sure, we’re best off letting go of that too. But in this blog, I’m talking about something bigger: the ebb and flow of activity that we naturally experience throughout the year has disappeared.

Our natural cycles

Everything on Earth goes through cycles of various magnitudes. We humans, for example, deal directly with the cycle of our lives, of the year, and of the day. Women have another cycle to contend with, to wit their menstrual cycle. Each cycle progresses from a zero point through a building phase to the optimal state and then back to the zero point through a declining phase.

In life as a whole, we see this reflected as the starting point of birth, after which we grow until we’re in the prime of our lives. After that peak, the years start to weigh on us slowly but surely until we reach our twilight years, ultimately ending at the zero point of death. Throughout the year, we see a similar circle emerge. After winter, everything gradually comes to life. It grows and blooms and reaches its peak in summer. After summer, nature slowly but surely rests until the dead silence of winter begins.

Sowing in winter? Or rather in spring?

If I ask you when is a good time to sow so that you can reap the rewards later, I don’t think you’ll say ‘in winter’. Even in this day and age, with most of us far removed from nature, there’s still the understanding that you start sowing when spring cautiously announces itself at the earliest. From this perspective, it’s quite strange that we find it normal to go full throttle with our good intentions on January 1st. We humans, with all our technology, are still subjected to the rhythms of nature. Therefore, we should be resting in winter.

I don’t know about you, but I can feel spring approaching. The result is that the energy begins to bubble. In winter, my energy levels are much lower and I just go with it. I hang around, read a lot with a nice cup of tea beside me, and generally take time for myself. The thing is, you need energy for change. Therefore, winter is the worst time of the year to embark on major projects. They are best left until spring or maybe even summer.

Fortunately, good intentions don’t go off

Perhaps you had a good intention that you started on January 1st. Maybe you managed to stick with it, but maybe – and this is more likely – not. You had that intention for a reason. It was important enough to want to bring about change on a socially significant date. Fear not. Nothing is lost. You can start again now, or maybe even closer to summer. It’s not like you can only resolve to do something once. Be kind to yourself and just do it when your natural rhythm is in sync. Best of luck!