I wrote this piece back in January but didn’t post it and I was going to discard it but decided not to as I like being able to hold myself to account for this stuff at the end of the year – and so here it is:
I use this first week of January as way of setting myself up for the year. This is a bit of a mixture of things.
Some of it is fantasy life stuff where I calmly make soup and knit a bit when I fancy it – some of it is about getting thoughts on paper that have been racing around in my head. It’s about sorting and organising and thinking about the year ahead. Its also about setting an intention for the year – something that I found really grounding and helpful when I dive back into busy-time.
This week of intention setting is about trying to gain a sense of order – at the same time as defrosting the freezer and getting the utility room back into a state where someone other than me can find things. I started sorting in my study where my desk is a bit of a metaphor for my life – at the moment its stacked with 6 different in-flight projects of wildly different natures. It represents my aspiration to do too much and also my diminished ability to actually concentrate on one thing and get into the elusive flow state where you lose yourself in a task. By the end of the week it should be ordered and I should have found a way to knit together the projects and create some balance.
Before Christmas I had thought my intent for the year was going to be ‘get ahead’ – I really want to get out of a reactive state and be able to think a bit further into the future. After Christmas – and now I am having a bit of a mull about it – ‘get ahead’ feels a bit desperate and a bit competitive. Instead I think my intent for the year is ‘anticipate’ – looking forward with both to savour the good things that could happen as well as mitigate the problems that might come.
Anticipate is a good intention personally and professionally; the slow cooking at the weekend to avoid the scramble in the week, the 30 mins spent planning what you want to use meetings for the next week – all the things that make space and give you time to breath.