Building momentum in a New Year take energy and planning. Many people think they need to be 100% clear at the end of a year about plans for the next 12 months. Ideally, this is the way it should be according to some lingering cultural expectations and the proverbial “Jan 1, line in the sand” that drives us; but that assumes you’re able to wind things down in early December and not only plan but recuperate the creative energy essential to that planning. If that’s possible, in January you’re able to hit the road running, not only clear but resourced properly. And what is the ultimate resource? It’s personal energy. 

It’s down right challenging to build momentum with a clear plan at the start of a New Year if you are exhausted or fatigued, let alone experiencing burnout; especially, entrepreneur burnout if you are running a business.

In the past decade or so, given how busy our 4th quarter year-ends have become, I’ve noticed that cultural expectations are changing. Why? Because in reality, it’s not actually possible for people to keep going without the personal energy to do so. Life will slow us down if our minds haven’t given us the permission. That most of us don’t give ourselves that permission, means too many of us are completely wiped out and are forced to double down on a daily consumption of coffee just to keep going because we don’t go into the New Year recuperated well enough. And the sad reality is, that lack of power continue to plague us until we get our of the accumulated personal energy debt.

This past year, (end of 2015) I had to push my intensive work effort though the bulk of December and therefore had little time year end to get consciously clear on my plans for the New Year. We broke new ground in 2015 and it was like riding a bull in a rodeo that never stopped after an accident put me in the hospital for nearly two months at the start of that year. We were playing catch up all year. Plus, my energy output was compounded by the enjoyable fact that we socialized and entertained more than usual over the holidays. By the time New Year arrived, I was pretty worn out.

The thing is, our true nature is unaccomodating to our worldly stories about holidays, social obligations and cultural expectations, let alone the need for “catch up” even following an accident. It doesn’t care about the mode you think you should be in at the start of January either.  If you’re overspent, in personal energy debt, a recuperation period is still required. Unless it comes, it’s going to be a tough start and tough to sustain the year and can cost you great. I have learned this from firsthand experience.

Now, while my plans weren’t clear 5-6 weeks ago (which feels like a long time ago), I can see now that I was already taking needed actions even without that conscious clarity, on an intuitive basis. That’s a beautiful thing, but to get conscious and clear about my plans, I needed time in January to recuperate; to start a new month let alone a New Year, clear. I do have to admit that I find doing this in January, a little more mentally challenging because culturally we do in fact shift into a new mode. It’s a good deal more fitting for year-end rejuvenation to fit in December, but sometimes it just doesn’t happen.

That is why coming from who you really are, understanding the realities of life beyond the cultural ego is so important to balanced and healthy, performance living in modern society. It’s just so easy to get caught up in cultural expectations.

I, along with my wife Mariahna, started this year with the idea of a whole new wave of streamlining and simplifying our lives. Newly married, adjusting to life living together and launching a new product line for our Performance Lifestyle nutrition brand Nutrient Rich Superfoods, we needed the ultimate “optimize”, if you will, to build a new chapter in our lives.

Down deep, I had the sense of intention to wind down those aspects of our work life that were not working, needing to end or change based on our previous plans, and to complete the past. We’ve needed some completion time, because the pace of life was so fast this past year, we had many unresolved items and issues, etc. So I/We felt the need to simplify life dramatically, and I mean dramatically. And that was the bulk of January.

From this place new simplified place, which we are still in the process though close to arriving at, I can see we are now genuinely open to new possibilities. I am excited about arriving at this new level of simplicity so we can accomplish our missions for 2016, and get closer to realizing the vision we have for our lives with unwavering intention.

Note to self: never ever ever forget that a genuinely sound process, one that doesn’t force you to drive yourself into the ground to complete, takes time; not more than needed and not less, but it does take the time it takes.

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