Taking January a little slower this year? The Contented team are with you

How is January looking for you? Already smashed your resolutions? Got your 1-year business plan in place? Strategy being executed as you read this? Or not?

Perhaps you’re feeling overwhelmed that you’re already into the second week of January, you haven’t even thought about new year resolutions – and as for your one year business plan – it’s not even finalised, let alone signed off and in action. Sound familiar? Then you’re in good company. In fact, my one year plan is still in my head, I haven’t even committed it to paper (or do we say screen these days?!) That’s ok. I heard of a concept recently that has given me a peace to take January as a month for preparing, planning and thinking strategically rather than just dashing out a half-considered, half-panicked plan. It’s the 13-month calendar.

This concept, also known as the International Fixed Calendar, was proposed by Moses B Cotsworth, in 1902 in which each of the 13 months had 28 days. Though it was never officially adopted, George Eastman, founder of Kodak, instituted its use from 1928 until 1989! I’m not about to advocate calendar reform but it did get me thinking, what if I regard January as a month for getting in a plan? 

December is always a time for parties, nativity costume searches and performances, illnesses and last minute panics to hit sales targets. I find it hard to be in a space where I’m ready to think about the next year. And yes, starting much earlier is preferred, but I also think it’s okay to acknowledge when you’re not ready. 

So this year I’m taking January as my thirteenth month. What do you think? Here are a few things I’m going to be doing to help me navigate 2023.

  • Make Space

Physically and mentally my life is cluttered. My mind has so many projects going on, I need time to process. I’m going to spend time thinking and visualising the priorities for this year. What are some of the things I want to achieve? Where do I want to push myself, where can I grow in resilience? Where am I comfortable and where do I need to grow? The space around me; what can be cleared, passed on, recycled.

  • Commit to paper

It doesn’t matter how much of our life is digital, there is something cathartic and committed when we write things down. It’s more personal. Writing is part of the process of making space. When we write things down, we clear space in our mind. Write down your dreams for this year and then break them down into small actions that will help you on your journey.

  • Involve the village

I’ve spoken before about the village of people around me who champion, support, encourage and love me, for who I am and who I might be. Part of their support requires me to be open and honest with them. To share my dreams and hopes for the year but also to acknowledge when I need help. Sharing your plan can bring accountability, something that is essential when it comes to executing a plan. And when I involve my village, I draw on their strengths. I don’t have to do everything myself, there are people around me who are better at certain things and they love to help. Be it family, friends, colleagues or clients – you just need to find your voice and ask.
Here at Contented we’re on a journey to live our best lives. We’d love to hear how your January is looking. What do you find helps you prepare for the year ahead? Do you even bother preparing, or do you like to take life as it comes? Please comment below or email us at team@thecontentedagency.com and tell us your thoughts.

Harriette Foulkes-Arnold

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