I’m not the first one to say that I usually love the goal-setting, fresh energy, and resolutions that come with a new year. It’s the same feeling I always get when I start a new journal. The emptiness always makes me wonder “What will these blank pages hold in a few months?” Sometimes I dread knowing, but often, the newness is exciting.
The start of 2024 feels different. And I am not the only one. My friend Rae wrote in the newsletter for Daughters of Promise about how she feels like she is army-crawling her way into the new year. Lore Wilbert, on her Substack and Instagram, has mentioned several times how this year looks daunting—particularly in the church and politics.
The newness of 2024 is exciting to me in some ways, but also I feel slightly turtle-like, crawling along slowly with a big shell on my back, not sure how to move any faster. This is partly because winter is difficult for me in general, partly because I’m still coming out of the fog of morning sickness and feeling tired from the strain of it.
These writers though, and others, have given permission to move slowly into the new year, but I want to take it just a step farther. I ENCOURAGE you to move slowly into the new year. Particularly in your business and marketing.
Why, you might ask? It’s true that the world of marketing is a never ending vortex, spinning faster and faster. If you don’t keep going, you will never keep up…right?
Actually, you literally will never be able to completely keep up. If you try, you will almost certainly burn out. In order to run a business in a sustainable and wise way, you need to pay attention to your own limits and know the times to take it slow.
How can you move slowly into this new year, in your business?
1. Take your time with reflection and planning.
It’s easy for me to think that plans have to be made all at once, ideally in only a day or two. But it doesn’t have to be this way! Take your time as you think back over 2023, and make plans for 2024. Don’t be afraid of the slowness. Most likely, your foundations for the new year will be much stronger if you take the appropriate amount of time to build them.
2. Honor your tiredness.
Where are you exhausted, worn out, or frustrated? Or, where do you feel inclined to ignore a task on your list? How can you change or reframe that into something that is manageable or even exciting?
3. Don’t be afraid to imagine new things.
I think at the end of the year we are often (speaking for myself, at least!) in the ruts of familiarity and not sure how to dream of what might be possible. Don’t let what’s become normal hold you back!
Emily P. Freeman, one of my longtime favorite podcasters and writers, posted this on Instagram on the last day of December: “January is the new week between Christmas and the new year.” You know that quiet, strange feeling that always hangs in the air during that week? Embrace it, move intentionally, and dig your roots down deep this month.