Just like the natural seasons the winter months of December, January and February tend to be a time for tying up loose ends and then beginning to plan for the coming year.
2016 for me has been one of the busiest years I can remember for a long time. I decided early on in 2016 that I needed to re-position myself as a speaker. I had become known, and was hired for, standing up and speaking about the train crash and the way it had affected my life. I wanted to start talking about what enthused me i.e. all that I had learnt from my experiences and how these could be applied in everyday life to make any challenge completely manageable.
However, this was going to prove easier said than done and most of my year has been spent on designing, explaining, honing and showing the new talks and brand I now offer. There has been little time for relaxation, recuperation or rest and I am exhausted however the groundwork has been accomplished.
Winter months require patience but persistence
But that does not mean I or you can sit back and wait for the work to flow in.
Just as farmers or planters use the winter months to clear back the debris, cut the dead wood off and prepare the ground for planting in Spring now is the time to plan, strategise, and goal set for the coming year. Even if your 2016 was disappointing that does not have to determine your 2017. Mistakes are there to be learned from and now is the time to clear away what did not work for you. People often think of Spring as new beginnings but nothing will grow in the spring unless the preparation has been done in the winter months.
Winter is a season of recovery and preparation.
Oddly, despite the hype of New Year and all it’s resolutions, by February many people have dived back under the duvet and abandoned all their carefully laid plans. This is because planning, preparing the ground and laying foundations is not a one week wonder fuelled by promises made at midnight. Planning is a process, an assessment. It needs a bit of looking back- looking forward and a whole lot of organisation. This puts people off; it is so much easier to make the grand gesture that is the “This year I will…lose weight, quit smoking, make a million…” Planning carefully seems dull, it requires patience. Sometimes the ground is hard and takes time to break up, get ready for the new seeds. However, if you have the right tools, take some time to put some systems in place, the earth will yield and new ideas can start to be nurtured.
Let us love winter, for it is the spring of genius.
Sometimes you should abandon plans and that can be tough. Try not to see this as giving up, more as making way for plans and ideas that have a stronger chance of success. Make sure actions begun before are not left hanging but are encouraged to grow into the coming year. If some actions have had to fall by the wayside because they didn’t work, then consider what should replace them where the bare patches are.
Christmas and New Year are traditional times for celebration and reflection, even nostalgia. As January arrives we look forward to a new cycle of seasons. If we are to enjoy the fruits of our labours. we need to spend time in deciding what those fruits should be. The winter months are the time we invest in our future for this year, and coming years.