There is something almost magical about a new year. It seems to embody all things being made new. We get to wipe the slate clean and start again. But maybe that isn’t the case for you. The new year may simply be filled with of the same frozen ground, or stuckness in life. The turn of the calendar page seems to only reinforce how much doesn’t change.

We are inundated this time of year with reminders to make resolutions, improve our lives, set goals, etc. But while I do love the idea of using the New Year as a turning point, this doesn’t have to be the case for you. I recently read an article by a fellow homeschooler talking about why she doesn’t add anything new to their schedule or curriculum in January. January is just about getting back into a routine and detoxing from the holidays. Then in February she starts making changes. Along side this I have seen so many articles about why New Year’s resolutions often fail. Motivation is often high at the beginning of the year but wanes in the weeks ahead.

February can be the new January. Or March or September or whatever other month you decide. Don’t allow a cultural trend to further strain your heart if you are struggling this time of year. Spend some time, months if you need to, to see if there are things you want to change. Start with little ones, that seem attainable. Get up 15 minutes earlier (or go to bed 15 minutes earlier) if you are looking for more rest or additional margin in your mornings. Commit to eating one more serving of vegetables a day if healthier eating is your goal. (That eating more vegetables is good for you is probably one of the few almost universal health tips in a world bogged down by trend diets and nutrition religion). I am the type of person who tends to try to make big changes all at once and invariably I wear myself out. But when I start small, I have better success.

Maybe you love your life and don’t want to change a thing. Hallelujah, then revel in that. Love your life. And you know, even if you don’t love everything about your life right now, find ways to celebrate the parts you do. Because that can be an important small step forward as well.  Be Ok with doing little or nothing, especially if that act of doing nothing gives you space to breath, rest or consider. There isn’t nearly enough room to breath in our lives and if you do nothing else for yourself this new year. That alone is worth it.

February is the new January.  You aren’t behind. Throw away the emotional calendar and take a deep breath. There may be a lot to do, but it doesn’t all have to be done today.