Happy New Year! 2024 already feels like it's off to a great start!
Every new year we're hit with a renewed sense of energy and hope for what the year ahead will bring. But most have us have already learned that trying to change who we are or just all of a sudden change every habit that makes us feel at home in the world - backfires.
I'm a fan of slower change and incorporating smaller habits to what we may want to change.
A study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology found that it took an average of 66 days to break a habit - that's over 2 months! So just like when you're balancing your body, it takes one month for your body to reset its hormones. Slow and steady changes is how you find success with your mind and body.
I've been cycle syncing for eight years now (wild, I know!) and I am still floored with how where I am in my cycle aligns perfectly with the external timing of our lives.
Maybe this is just trusting my body and having faith that I don't need to over plan or push myself into exhaustion to make things happen. I trust the timing of my life and how I feel week to week. I know my energy, stamina and motivation ebbs and flows with the changes in hormone levels we see in our menstrual cycle.
Below are some notes on how you can use your cycle to lean into a New Year's reset without stressing yourself out.
1.Clean and Purge in Your Luteal Phase
Just like pregnant women get that vamped up nesting energy before their baby arrives, we get this need to clean, purge and organize our physical spaces every month the week before our period. It's a time I absolutely adore!
Your body wants you to clear out anything that doesn't serve you so you can have positive, renewed energy in the month ahead. It's already ingrained within you as a woman.
Cleaning for me often feels like therapy. And I can't even start work or a new project without having my space clean and tidy. I'm a Virgo and just love an orderly space!
So if you haven't cleaned your home yet or put away holiday decorations - don't fret. Just look at your calendar and set the intention to do so the week before your period. Your mind will naturally want to clean and create order, without being at a time in your cycle where you just don't feel like it. Honor and listen to that energy inside of you.
I don't know if it's just from cycle syncing for so long but I sync up really well to the changes of seasons/time of year to do certain things.
On Saturday, December 30, I've been in my luteal phase and felt the intense need to take down all my Christmas decorations. I did it in four hours, along with neatly packing everything away for next year.
Then I took the next few days to go through my entire house and create a "donate" pile of anything we don't use or haven't touched since we moved into our home two years ago. I end up doing deeper purges like this around the new year and shifts into spring and fall. One of my goals this year is to have a more minimal home where it's not overloaded with a ton of stuff (way more easy to clean!).
My garage currently has 4 bags/large boxes of things to donate.
My kitchen and closets already feel easier to clean and manage since decluttering. That type of peace and ease is the energy I want in the next year - and it all felt easily obtainable because I simply matched the activity to the right monthly phase.
2. Plan and Strategize Resolutions or Intentions in Your Follicular Phase
If you set resolutions or intentions for the year, the best time to do it is technically in your follicular phase (the week after your period ends) when your mind is ready to plan/strategize.
I say technically here because I've often found I love planning things out during my period AND follicular phase. It depends largely on how I feel that month so sometimes I do it then or wait until my period is over. So lean into whatever feels good to you this month.
You'll find that you don't sit down to write your intentions or plan of action on how to actually achieve your goals with your mind going blank. Your brain will naturally feel like strategizing your goals, along with the energy to create a plan on how to achieve them - it's a beautiful thing!
Some people just write down a word to focus on, do a vision board, or have some sort of plan for themselves.
In prior years I've certainly done more of this, but this year the only intention I have is to have more peace and ease within myself, home, work and life. 2023 felt far too chaotic on the home front and I don't have energy this year for anything that causes stress.
Personally, I don't need to move forward in a lot of the areas we tend to create resolutions on:
I don't need to lose weight, I already eat well and exercise as part of my lifestyle. The baby weight was lost mostly in the first three months last year, with the rest coming off slowly with food, exercise and breastfeeding over the past year.
I don't need to balance my hormones as my lifestyle already aligns well to my body.
I don't need to make any changes to my habits because I'm not trying to get pregnant or breastfeeding.
I don't need to overextend myself in my career because I already leaned back to focus on my kids right now.
2024, for me, is a year of doing less so I can feel more present and just enjoy life right now.
My 20s/early 30s were spent building my career, and most of my 30s were then spent trying to have kids, having them and entering the recovery phase. I'm just grateful to lean into anything that feels good this year and step back from anything that doesn't.
That's my simple plan for 2024 😊
3. Take Action on Your Plan During Ovulation
The last step for getting started on your New Year's reset is to not worry about taking action just yet on your goals if you are not in your ovulation phase (unless you feel the motivation to do so).
While most people hit the ground running on January 1st, it's ok to take the space you need to clean your space and think out what you really want this year.
Our brains need time to think and space to process.
To go from "this is what I want" to "this is what I have" can take us far more time than the quick, gratification our world has made us believe is normal. And it could be why many people fail at their New Year's resolutions - they don't give enough time to see them through and ride out the setbacks.
Any goal or progress you want to make takes time, thought, consideration, and pivoting when something isn't working out.
Just because everyone else is starting their resolutions this week doesn't mean you have to.
And if you don't get started now, it doesn't mean you won't in a week or two when your mind and body are in a strong "take action" phase when ovulating. It'll give you the exact push you need to get started.
The more you lean into the ebbs and flows of your energy, motivation and changing thought processes, the easier goals feel. And you won't waste your mental or physical energy - it'll just come naturally 😊