With the excitement of the festive season over, the talk of new beginnings and a whole year looming ahead can make January feel more stressful than serene; the cliché phrase ‘new year, new you’ comes with an expectation that you must reinvent yourself year after year, setting new goals and pushing yourself to ‘do better’ or ‘be better’ at something. Alongside being a little unrealistic, this outlook can cause January to become a bleak and demotivating month, instead of an exciting one. To combat these New Year tensions, we’ve enlisted the help of crystal healer and author of The Crystal Code, Tamara Driessen, to help us enter the year with a more mindful and positive approach.
“The New Year can feel so overwhelming; especially when it seems like everyone on social media is setting goals or announcing new projects. It can cause us to put a lot of self-imposed pressure on ourselves” says Tamara. Although setting an intention for the future can be a motivating force, the time pressure and immediacy we sometimes place around these goals can cause unnecessary stress. Tamara advises that when we want to make any kind of change in our lives, it needs to happen one step at a time. “It can be a much easier ride when we give ourselves permission to feel our way into things, instead of rushing.”
With all the focus going on what’s ahead, it can be easy to disregard the past, or to view it in a negative light if you feel that it was a particularly bad year or if things didn’t quite turn out the way you’d hoped. Looking back can be a crucial part of moving forward however, as Tamara explains: “It’s easy to forget what we’ve achieved in the previous year because we’ve been so busy hustling. I always do an end of year review and reflect on the things that I’ve learnt, achieved, overcome and enjoyed; I like to write them all down (even if some of the ‘wins’ are tiny; they all count if you ask me).”
Acknowledging all the events of the past year can help to put everything in perspective and give you a more positive view overall. Tamara encourages us to see any missed chances not as failures, but as opportunities for the year ahead. “There’s no point getting hung up on what we haven’t achieved yet, because well, we can’t change it. But there’s plenty of opportunities ahead to do things differently.”
When meditating on an intention for the New Year it is easy to become overwhelmed with all the different things that you may want to improve or achieve. Tamara recommends journaling as an extremely helpful way of getting all your thoughts out on paper. “It’s such a simple but powerful exercise to gain clarity and a deeper understanding of where you’re at. I’d recommend writing your heart out to help you identify how you’re feeling about the New Year and if you’re feeling stuck you could ask ‘what will support me today/in the year ahead?’; make a commitment to yourself to take action on at least one of the answers.”
New Year’s goals don’t always have to surround your career or an external achievement either. Tamara suggests that some of the most important changes you can make come from focusing on your internal wellbeing. “Last year, I committed to working on unblocking myself and uncovering what my limiting beliefs are that hold me back” says Tamara. “I did some ‘To Be Magnetic’ online courses, had hypnotherapy sessions and journaled (almost) every day, and I worked with specific crystals to support me through each process. Doing these things has really helped me to uncover what supports me, overcome some blocks and helped me to step outside of my comfort zone with less anxiety.”
Rather than striving to give yourself strict rules or goals to achieve, simply focusing on yourself and the things that make you happy can provide all the motivation you need. “Make time to do the things that inspire you and keep you feeling inspired” says Tamara. “Whether it’s taking time off, reading, listening to podcasts, going to workshops, courses, retreats, travelling, walks by the sea or spending time in your favourite place in nature. Personally, I’m the ‘best’ version of myself when I’m relaxed, and my best work comes through when I give myself space and do the things that support me.”
Reflecting on the past year and taking the time to ease yourself into January is an approach that’s much kinder to yourself and your wellbeing than writing a list of strict goals or resolutions. It’s the perfect way to distance yourself from any pressure and to gradually discover what it is that you actually want from the year ahead.
Featured image: Michelle Del Rio
Words: Phoebe Grace Ede