Welcome The New Year With Ease & Calm —MAV

Here we are … a new year. We’ve been through the busy festive season full of parties, sweets, drinks and family gatherings and we’ve come out the other side to … a new year. Yep. Here we are.

Am I the only one who is just a wee bit intimidated???

I’ve been thinking a lot this week about the best ways to approach this new year. What should my attitude be? What should I change or keep the same? How can I keep from feeling so overwhelmed by the sheer damn newness of it all?

Well, I think it’s time for one of my lists! (You know how I love lists.)

Welcome The New Year With Ease & Calm

+ Listen to classical music a few hours a day.
It just makes you feel harmonious. And smart! I like to listen from about 9–11A when I’m just getting into the day and things have not gone wild yet. My public radio station happens to play classical during this time but if yours doesn’t try listening online.

+ Bring nature inside.
There is something about ushering in a new year with nature. It’s somehow very intimate and grounding. I remember last year I had these three large rocks. I had picked them up on a Christmas Eve beach walk. After all the bright holiday decorations came down there were the rocks sitting on my mantle. They were a reminder to me that even though the house was stripped of its sparkle I was still grounded by those memorable merry times. The feeling of warmth and remembrance stayed with me throughout the beginning of the year.

+ Put new photographs on your fridge.
By now you probably have a long list of resolutions or projects you want to accomplish this year. Well I say start small. Update those photographs! These days everything is digital so I know it takes a bit of effort to go through your images and get them printed blah blah. Just do it. You’ll feel the satisfaction of having done something major when really it was not that big of a deal at all.

+ Drink an extra 3 glasses of water a day (in addition to the 8 I know you’re already drinking).
I can’t tell you how strongly I feel about staying hydrated. I swear it makes such a difference in bringing balance to your world (not to mention your complexion, hair and digestive system). Try keeping a carafe of water out on your kitchen counter and near your desk. If you have the water right at hand it will be easier to drink. Add lemon or orange slices if you need some enticement to drink up.

+ Rearrange your artwork; buy new or make your own.
Now is the time to look around at what you have up and shift some things around. Add a few more pieces on a sparse wall or clean an entire wall off and start over. We live in a time where incredible artists are selling their work online. Seek them out. Buy art! Or if you don’t have a small art budget right now, make some. Get out your pens and pencils and draw or print some of your photographs in various sizes and frame them cheaply. Or use tape. It’s inspiring to be inspired!

+ Do a ‘year in review’.
I’m doing one in my Flickr account right now. It’s so good to take the pressure off the looming future by looking slowly and commemoratively at the past. Of course it’s always nice to move on, especially if you’ve had a hard year or month, but it’s also important to learn from the bits and pieces of the past.

+ Take walks.
This is crucial. I have talked about the power of walks before. Creating your own internal pace using your steps and your breath really helps settle the mind and prepare for the next big thing coming up in the day. 20 minutes is an easy commitment of time. Feel your feet hitting the ground, explore your own movement, listen to the thoughts in your head, be easy. Just try it!

I trust you each have your own lists of how to welcome in the new year; thanks for sharing in mine. I hope you enjoy these early days of 2011. We can only dream of all that lays ahead …