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Timisola Sanya: Don’t Get Caught Up in the January Rush

Everyone is setting goals and it looks like they already have great plans for the year and here you are, not sure of how you want your 2023 to be. I’ll encourage you to be kind to yourself.

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Yippeee! It’s a new year.

For many, 2022 came with a lot of stress and uncertainty – here was the hike in prices of food and commodities, insecurity increased, the fuel scarcity did not (and is not) helping matters and, of course, some people were served hot and spicy breakfast. So it is little wonder that many people look to 2023 with renewed hope and faith. We’re not just praying that this year comes with many goodies, but being an election year, we’re also praying that our choices will mitigate people’s suffering and make the coming years bearable, at the very least.

January is that month I fear the most. One because the month is always long, like 70 days rolled into 31. Secondly, because January usually comes with this rush and pressure to be something new or different, or make new commitments. Because it’s a new year, there are so many inspire-to-respire-then-expire talks out there. There’s pressure to set your goals, draw your vision board, make more money, lose weight, and so on. It looks as if we are all running a race without knowing the direction. And when you refuse to be a part of this rush, you begin to wonder if you’re an unserious element.

This is not to say we shouldn’t set goals or apply for weight-loss programs or opportunities – if that’s what you want, by all means, do. But it is important to ask ourselves – before making all these commitments – if this is what we really want for ourselves or if we are simply being pressured into needing to do something because it’s a new year, a fresh page, a new beginning and the many buzz words we use. I’ve learned some tips to help me manage the January rush, at least to a large extent.

It’s not compulsory to set goals in January

I believe goals can be set at any time of the year. I get the idea of a fresh start, a new chapter, and the need to make the most of it. But, in truth, stepping into January 1 doesn’t automatically make you a new person. It is still the same you, the same habits, the same beliefs and ideologies; they don’t suddenly disappear because you’ve stepped into a new year.

So many people are still recovering from December expenses, rolled over tasks from 2022, and then they still go through January with immense pressure to start something new or be someone new. Don’t be like that. It’s great to set goals but if you aren’t ready just yet, don’t be pressured; it is not how fast, it is how well.

Don’t pressurise yourself

Rather than start something new, reflect on your last year – what worked for you? What didn’t work? What should you continue? What should you let go of? Hurrying to start something new while neglecting previous pursuits will not be helpful in the long run.

Take a break 

You’ve probably resumed work, you need to come up with new year strategies for work, there are school runs parents need to do, and suddenly, it looks like there’s too much to do and at such little time. This is the best time to pause and truly reflect on what it is you want, why and how you can get it.

I understand the need for goal-setting so, no, I’m not discouraging you from mapping out your plans for the year. The summary of it all is to never be pressured by the need to do it now, this week or this month just because people have said so. January is the start of the year but trust me when I say you can start your own ‘clean slate’ anytime you choose – be it in March or August. You must be ready and hungry.

I’ll also encourage you to practice being kind to yourself. Everyone is setting goals and it looks like they already have great plans for the year and here you are, not sure of how you want your 2023 to be. Still, be kind to yourself. Speak politely to yourself the way you would to others.


Featured image: Mon Stera for Pexels

Timisola is a people person, opinionated and a dog lover. She's also passionate about designs, and whatever she finds herself doing. When she's not reading, writing, teaching French language or designing, she's being a #bosslady thinking of what to achieve next.

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