Happy New Year, friends! I hope the first week of 2022 is off to a good start. I'm not always one for New Year's resolutions, but this year I have felt that I needed, badly, a completely fresh start. For me, 2021 was a strange year - strange pacing, strange flow, and a marked absence of energy. I was starting to think that there was really something wrong with me, but then I started talking to my friends about it, and I found that a lot of them were in the same boat. I don't know if it was the languishing second year of Covid, the omnipresent stress of sending the unvaccinated kid out into the world, the cumulative effect of rarely leaving the house, or the uncertainty about where the economy and my business were headed, but by the end of August I hit serious burnout.
Usually, feeling undirected and adrift triggers panic in me and I overreact, but last year I decided to accept it, and even lean into it a bit. I rested. I gardened. I built things in the yard. And I thought a lot about where I wanted to go, both professionally and personally. By the week after Christmas I was in prime planning mode, and ready to completely overhaul my schedule and my processes.
First, I bought a planner. Actually, I bought a planner for me, a planner for Dave, a planner for Anabelle, a calendar for the family and an additional calendar for my social media and blog planning. (I did mention that I'm prone to overreacting, right?) I have always loved the idea of planning, but I'm less enthusiastic with the follow through. This year, for real, I'm gonna use that thing! All of those things.
Then, I gave in to the idea of a morning ritual. I've read a lot about this over the years, but as I'm not a morning person, my "ritual" pretty much boiled down to drawing the limit at 5 hits of the snooze button and really strong coffee. However, with all the distractions in my life these days, I realize that I absolutely need to start early, and capitalize on the relatively quiet morning hours. Plus, Dave is morning-friendlier, and also needs an earlier start, and I think it'll be easier to stick to if we're doing it together. So here's our plan:
-6-6:30 wakeup (depending on the day and whether Dave has a 7 am meeting). Lemon or lime water, depending on which trees are producing.
-Walk one mile (conveniently, the distance around the closest "block"), ideally as the sun is rising, though I don't see this happening by later in the spring.
-Yoga and core routine
-Journal and coffee
-Start working by 8
It's only day 3, but I have to say it's been pretty great. Getting out of bed and going directly outside has really helped me wake up and feel more energized, and the other aspects have helped me to feel calm and focused as I head into the day. I'm really hoping I can sustain the habits and make it a permanent schedule, but to begin, I'm planning on sticking to it for January and then adjusting as necessary.
I would argue that the most important factor in moving our schedule earlier is not the morning schedule, but rather the evening schedule. And that that is really based on what time we finish our workday. But ultimately it's all connected. So, to that end we figured out an evening ritual, too:
-5-6:00 exercise or work out
-6-7:30 cook dinner and eat together
-8-9:00 wind down of reading, family games or t.v.
-Short stretching/yoga routine
-Reading in bed with herbal tea
Again, kind of ambitious (and very structured for me), but I'm pretty sure we can stick to it most days for a month for starters. Then I can see how it makes us feel, and what we need to change.
I'm feeling hopeful about this year, and excited to feel energized and creative again. I hope you all are feeling rested and recharged, and ready to make 2022 a great year.