Happy 2015!

A new start! A clean slate! Another chance to get it right. Yes! Right?

What. Pressure.

(*deep breath!*)

Maybe you can’t get out of your pyjamas.

Or have tried exercising more, but relapsed into old routines or habits.

What if traditional New Year’s resolutions don’t make you feel new and fresh and inspired at all?

Social media is full of resolutions to exercise every day, eat healthily, drink more water, loose weight, get fit, run a marathon, or write a novel…..

It may seem like everyone is setting amazing goals, and making incredible plans, but what if that’s not possible for you?

Found emotional angst as the season marks another year you’ve been ill, haven’t recovered or knocked anything off you bucket list?

Or are you realising, given chronic health issues, you don’t know how well you’ll be as the year goes on, so booking that once-in-a-lifetime trip to Italy is just too risky.

You can’t blithely put ”loose 10lb,”“start yoga,” “learn Italian,” or “launch a new product” on your 2015 goals list, if it’s simply not accessible to you right now.

So, when everyone is planning a perfect, action packed year, where do you fit? Embrace the calendar. The whole calendar.

Resist the pressure to make big plans when it isn’t ideal for your body, mind or spirit. And do make your plans – big and small – whenever it’s best for you.

You can make “resolutions” any time. Every day is the first day of a new year.
@Grace_Quantock (Click to Tweet!)

Maybe you want to plan in the spring when leaves are budding on the trees and the world is waking up. Or at the height of summer when everything is in full bloom. Or perhaps planning isn’t in your cards at all and you’d simply rather observe.

Leave yourself some (well-deserved!) space. Watch. Listen. What one word does the year want to whisper? What do you want to feel next January, reflecting on 2015?

That’s your intuition talking. Feel free to move toward it however – and whenever – you see fit.

Illness is very uncomfortable for those enduring it, but it can be distressing for others as well; seeing chronic pain/sickness/disability evokes a natural desire in many to “fix” things, bringing about “friendly suggestions” for New Year’s resolutions…and serving to make the trend even more wearisome for those not taking part. Acknowledging that we‘re not only dealing with our own feelings around self-development, but others’ as well is key before making any new commitments to yourself.

I want space, not pressure and perfectionism, thank you very much.

This year I made no plans, no goals.

I don’t want to push for goals at the expense of the process. I’m ready to see what unfolds, naturally.

I trust myself. Trust my body. Trust that anarchy will not descend if I’m not on a schedule.

There’s a pervasive belief in the wellness world: that if we work very hard, buy the books, do the exercises, release ourselves, and do our affirmations every single day, we can have a perfect life. And that, if there is pain, suffering, sadness or loss it’s only because we haven’t worked, paid or chanted enough yet.

I don’t believe all the struggling, cleansing, detoxing, manifesting and self- improvement in the world (or in a year!) will ever produce the “perfect life”.

Indeed, perhaps “perfect” includes the pain, dropped stitches and blurry photos.

Life isn’t a straight line from chaos to contentment (even with lots of effort and webinars!) Things become clear and then not, covered and uncovered, come together and fall apart, fall apart and come together again.

It’s part and parcel of what makes life so unpredictable. And beautiful.

Intentions, resolutions, are just wishes and goals – not guarantees. Anything can happen. Anytime. All those grand plans, desires and wannabe manifestations are merely hopes that may – or may not – come to pass.

For some people, the New Year is the chance they have been waiting for: To start fresh. Re-invigorate. Get ready to rock! It may work wonders for them. But if it doesn’t work for you, toss it. You can re-ignite your life, your plans, yourself any time.

And re-claim your New Year as an appreciation celebration of all the good things you are right now.

It’s 2015!

Another year of you. Fantastic!

Grace Quantock is an award-winning international wellness expert, coach, author, motivational speaker, certified Reiki master and spiritual response therapy practitioner. She is the founder of Healing Boxes CIC and The Phoenix Fire Academy. Currently living – and thriving – with often debilitating illness, she is the real deal and knows, firsthand, the emotional and physical roller coaster that accompanies diagnosis and life struggle. Currently, a resident of Wales, Grace loves reading, gardening and early mornings. She firmly believes that life is meant to be celebrated, and has made it her mission to help others do just that …joyfully and on their own terms. You can follow Grace on Twitter.

Image courtesy of Viktor Hanacek.