In many ways this has been the most precious year of my life. In others it has been one of the hardest. With the birth of our baby girl on Christmas Day 2013 came a world of new priorities, warped time, new responsibility and so many distractions. At the same time our business grew exponentially, and a lot of exciting opportunities came our way, which we kept saying yes to.
The result? Burnout. For the entire month of October our whole family was sick (hence the unusual lack of newsletters from me!). We experienced every parent’s nightmare of hospital visits and paramedics, were exhausted but couldn’t sleep, needed nutrition but were too tired to cook proper food. It was really hard. And I think it was a massive lesson to us. Looking back now everyone is well again and all our big deadlines have passed, it seems like the universe was literally shouting at us to slow down.
I’ll admit – and not at all proudly – that this is something of a pattern for me. I work and work until I can work no more, take a break, refill the well and get re-inspired, then go 100 miles an hour putting all my new ideas into action. But this last month has told us that even if it sort of worked before, it is not sustainable with a new baby.
And so we have decided to take December off – no classes, no deadlines, no stress. A delicious month to slow down, enjoy the Christmas festivities and recharge for 2015 (which is already shaping up to be an exciting year). Our team will be running a few short programmes, including a free winter writing workshop (details coming next week!). But generally we will mostly be having a merry time with family and friends, hopefully laughing and sleeping a lot.
I have given myself the gift of saying no this December, because it’s OK not to do everything, all the time. And I really hope you will do the same, if that’s what you need.
This time of year is a good time to step away from the day-to-day and reflect on the year gone by, and make plans about you want from the year ahead. I am going to be using our New Year’s Revolution 2015 toolkit to help me do this and I’d like to offer it to you as a gift to do the same.
This completely free toolkit will help you work out what you really want from the year ahead, and then plan how you are going to get it.
We have updated and expanded this resource based on feedback from some of the thousands of people who downloaded it last year. (If you were one of those who gave us feedback, thank you. The feedback givewaway winner was DEBBIE BERNA)
Download your free New Year’s Revolution Toolkit here and start planning to make things different next year.
I know I need to take this really seriously and put things in place to be less frantic and less overworked, to create space for more adventure, more opportunities, and more fun. I hope you will too!