Tuesday 14 February 2017


We crave new beginnings. Don't we? Articles and books are dedicated to them. And the word 'new' is one of five magazine coverlines that appeals to a reader, apparently. The research department at Australia's largest magazine publishing company told me this when I worked there as the deputy editor for an interiors magazine. 

The start of a new year is ripe with possibilities. After all, it's not just the beginning of a new year but also a month and a day - if we are organised enough. 

But many people like to fob off all of fervour over renewals that goes on at the start of a year. "I don't make resolutions," they say. Sometimes there's an insinuation that they don't need to. Their life is doing just fine, thank you very much. 

But January always comes around for me after an exhausting December. Unlike our northern hemisphere counterparts, we reach the end of the year ending all sorts of chapters. Many companies have a mad rush of activity before everyone departs for summer holidays. Projects need to be completed before company close-downs. Then there is the end of the school year with all of its associated commitments. And in amongst all of this is the planning and present-buying for Christmas, plus any summer plans you may have. Yes, the last month of the year is always a busy one. 

And then... Quiet. January is often a month of an empty calendar. While most people leave the major cities, the rest of us enjoy the deserted streets and beaches.

What better time to reflect and assess the agenda for the coming year. And then have breathing time to ease into them. Hello, February.

Over the years goals with numerical targets (often to do with the bathroom scales) have made way for more holistic or wholehearted ones. They have oscillated and undulated but generally followed a path of eating better, moving more (physically - not houses! - trying to cure that habit) and living with fewer but better-quality items within our home. 

Just as I have been broader with my goals, so too have I been more forgiving with the results. In fact, this year that is my focus. So if I want to practice yoga more and the three-year-old wants to talk through all of it, or stop five minutes in to have breakfast then that's okay. Five minutes worth of stretching is better than none at all. If I only get to write my journal or blog once a month, then that's okay too. Something is better than nothing. You just do what you can, when you can. And show the kindness to yourself that you would to others. One day at a time. 

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