Transitional seasons are by far my favorite times of the year, partially because the temperatures are often mild, leaning to neither extreme, but also because they usher in a great deal of reflection. This is especially true in the stillness of winter.
“Winter is coming” has become a funny trope thanks to social media and the fandom of Game of Thrones, but it is also a welcome proclamation to halt the intensity of a calendar that sometimes feels like its own entity.
During the holiday hustle and bustle, appointments slow down, and a shift occurs from a hurried pace to a slower, more mindful speed while making memories with loved ones. It is then that we seem to truly value the importance of time. Things that truly matter are allowed to take center stage, if only for a few weeks.
My focus this upcoming year is to not wait until the next crisp chill and onslaught of pumpkin-laced products to lift my friends, family and myself above the fray of meetings, reports and endless goal seeking. If I don’t adjust my approach, then like most New Year’s resolutions, my resolve will fade along the way, and nothing will change.
Unlike business initiatives and professional development, where an aim for best practices would occur, recentering in this way often is left to chance. Anything unscheduled becomes an afterthought.
Here are some tips for mindfully shifting your focus:
SCHEDULE YOUR PLAY WITH PAY
When you put an event on your calendar, do you simply click “Going” on Facebook, or do you actually pay for it? Commit with payment. For those who don’t like “wasting” money, paying when the inspiration hits will increase the likelihood that you will actually go. Treat it like a conference early-bird ticket.
PREBOOK THE ‘NEXT TIME’
Be mindful of moments of connection that feed your soul. If you get to the end of a great conversation, and one of you says, “Next time, we need to go…” or some other words of invitation, pull out your calendar then and book the next time.
TELL YOUR MOST PERSISTENT FRIEND
As with any shift, these changes will require accountability. Tell someone your intentions who will willingly tell you when you are off course. Preferably, this person will be someone you can’t easily dismiss.
What will you leave behind and embrace as you transition into the next season?