Taking time off from my normal routine helped me process the initial hard, raw feelings of grief when my dad passed away, and, at first, I wasn’t sure when I’d be able to pick up life as usual again. To be honest, I wondered if the whole year would be a loss, with nothing significant or important accomplished. But, after prayerful consideration, the idea of a new year reset came to me, along with a date for my do over—February 1.
While I’m not far into my new year, these are the points I considered:
Ask, “What does this experience make possible?” I learned this advice from an old blog post Michael Hyatt wrote after he suffered a serious injury. Admittedly, the question sounds somewhat insensitive when applied to a death (which he did not do), but I saw wisdom in applying this mindset to my situation. Several thoughts immediately surfaced. I could spend more time with Mom now. Reflecting on Dad’s powerful legacy of helping people, I could do a better job of following his example. While I have a good relationship with my brothers, sisters-in-law, nieces, and nephews, Dad’s passing brought us together in a way that makes me want to build on that closeness. Finally, with the razor-sharp clarity life-changing events bring, I have been able to focus on what really matters as the rest fades into the background.
Reevaluate goals. With priorities shifted, I revisited the goals I’d made at the end of last year and found I wanted to keep most of them, though some were scaled down to a more realistic form. I noticed my interest returning, and with it the grace to pursue my goals at a slower pace while lowering my expectations. Yes, I said lowering my expectations. So far, this has been working well. Granted, I’m ten days in, so time will tell. I’ll keep you posted.
Ease back into my schedule. That slower pace I mentioned above. Before the first day of January, I had penciled in all of these activities designed for rapid growth. (My word’s “accelerate,” remember?) Now I’m breaking down those steps into smaller ones and putting off some goals until later in the year. While I’m doing better with the grief, I know I still need to allow time for processing emotions. Filling my days with busyness isn’t healthy, and it’s not how I want to live my life. This season has taught me that lesson.
Reset my reset, if necessary. While I don’t foresee this happening, I’m not ruling it out. If you are in the same situation as I am, remember you have this option, too. Think of it like dipping your toe in the swimming pool to see if the water’s warm. No harm in waiting a little while longer. By then the clouds could part and the sun shine down, making everything better.
Have you chosen a new year reset? Tell me about it in the comments.
Related post: “When Your New Year Didn’t Go as Planned”