Happy New Year?

January 28, 2020

I’m writing to propose that we re-orient our lives around a year that starts on June 1st, rather than January 1st. Who’s with me?

In my coaching sessions, sometimes there are certain themes that emerge among my clients (and that often resonate with me) that seem linked to the season. This year, as 2019 ended and 2020 started, many of my clients were finding themselves emotionally, physically, cognitively, and/or energetically out of sync with what the time of year was demanding of them. I was feeling similarly.

In many traditions, including Chinese Medicine, winter is a time of inward reflection, rest and restoration. It is associated with water, the element of pooling, tranquility and flow. The cold weather drives us to do this pretty naturally — staying home where it’s warm, busting out the jigsaw puzzles — but what else do we do? We have one year-end celebration after another, we travel great distances to be with family, we sprint to the finish of this year’s work achievements and simultaneously scramble to plan next year’s goals. Rather than seeking the wisdom of our ancestors and processing what we’ve learned, we are DOING. I’m convinced that the fatigue that we experience at the end of the year is not actually eagerness for the year to be over, or fatigue that would come no matter when we called a year “over,” but rather the result of behaviors that are ill-matched for the season and its effects on us.

I had a particularly strong aversion myself this year to all the 2020 kick-off efforts that I was supposed to be doing around January 1. I felt completely unmotivated to make resolutions and do big planning sessions for my businesses. I thought that that was an indication that I was in a funk or lost in an aimless wander. I noticed a significant shift in my energy on the Lunar New Year (the 24th) and began to realize that it wasn’t me, it was the calendar that was messed up.

So, I propose we shift all our calendars — our work and personal lives — to end and start six months later. That way:

  • We will do our dreaming and planning in the Spring.
  • We will hit the ground running and be in full swing in the early Summer months.
  • We will begin to get centered and balanced, doing mid-way check-ins on progress during the late Summer months.
  • We will harvest and clean, making sure everything pure and necessary is used and maximized, and that anything unnecessary or wasteful is eliminated, in Autumn.
  • Finally in Winter we will reflect, process, and learn from a full and rich year. We will take stock of where it has left us, and rest up to start again.

Does this sound like a dream to you? It does to me. If this model doesn’t feel synced with your rhythm, what does? I know we don’t all have control over our work schedules and cycles, but I encourage you to reflect on how you live and work best, and look for ways — small or large — to orient yourself in alignment with them. Email me if you want some help 🙂

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Rada Yovovich is an experienced coach, meta-coach, mediator, trainer, and facilitator based in Chicago. She specializes in building leadership competencies that maximize individual and team potential, and aligning goals with values for individuals and teams/organizations to create cultural alignment and collective commitment.