Why I don’t rush into New year goal setting (and why you could consider it as well)

Yes, you’ve heard me right. I know it’s very common to start New year all fresh and new, with mood boards, vision boards, organising and planning, setting goals and heading straight into success – this time for real, of course. This year I’m all the opposite. Let me explain why I’m not rushing into New year goal setting and resolutions and what you can do instead through the months of January. Are you ready to feel relieved? Well, let’s dive in. And if you’re listening to this one, sit back, grab your drink and enjoy this almost podcast-like vibe. You can have your drink of choice if you’re reading, as well. 😉

Note: This blog post contains audio version at the very bottom of this post. Narrated by: yours truly. Enjoy the ride.

Why are we listening to others?

In the world we live in, everyone with a blog, YouTube channel or Instagram is a teacher in some way. We follow and learn from people we know nothing about. Many times only their way of presenting themselves is why we choose to trust them if their content resonates with us. Generally speaking, I think we don’t really take conscious time to think and feel if we want to act or follow what we have just consumed. If someone is successful in any way – for having a monetised blog, earning money, accomplished what was planned, has a neat pantry, has a lovely visual style or a way of living we are dreaming of – we want that and we tend to take the exact steps they are giving us in order to get there.

10 steps to a successful business, 7 ways to monetise a blog, the best way to plan New year, how to best plan and execute your New year business plan, how to finally plan your year for success… I know this sounds familiar.

Not to diminish the value of content that is to be found online – it has been the main source of information for myself in the past decade. However, I have often found myself either under pressure, overwhelmed, or unable to follow the steps I was given for whatever reason. And the pressure was always the biggest around New Year, planning the year ahead and setting goals, when it comes to the upcoming year. Let’s unravel that one.

Cycle of a year

For reasons I won’t go into since I’m only writing a blog post about planning New year and not a history book, as most of the world we are using Gregorian calendar as well. Roman emperors had their reasons for marking January 1st as the beginning of New Year, but in nature things are a bit different. If we look at the cycle of nature, we can see that winter is only beginning around December 21th, only ten days before New Year. Time of winter is time of rest for entire nature, plants and animals. Only humans want to start new things and plan for New year as soon as winter time starts. A bit funny, but not entirely off.

So, at the time we officially enter New year, we are only ankle deep in a time of deep rest, peace and silence. This is a time when we need our energy to be inwards, to live off from what we have gathered, to use and consume less. All metaphorically speaking, but you can take it almost literally. Since the system (any system) is not adjusted in our favour, we do need to be working to be able to provide for food and shelter the entire year. At least the most of the modern world.  While I don’t see or feel nature as dead during winter time, since there is always energy flowing through every plant, animal or human, I do see it and feel it as time of deep rest, contemplation, silence and slowness.

What does this mean for your business?

Even though nature ‘officially’ starts to come back to life in spring, energetically new year starts somewhere around beginning of February. The Chinese celebrate New year at the beginning of February which marks the start of lunar new year, and even I don’t celebrate it then, I always feel new energy around this time. It’s when winter season is about half way through and the magic of new beginning starts to peep through tiny holes. At around this time, I feel more aligned with starting anew and I can bet you have felt this way before as well. If not, make sure to pay attention to it in 2023.

Does that mean you shouldn’t be working in January?? You wish, my friend.

We, humans, are luckily not trees. We move and are destined and created as such to move and to create. However, not all the freaking time. While New year is a good time to start a new planner and calendar to be up to date with events, you don’t have to jump right into it and use energy from your reservoir to feel all new and fresh because everyone else is doing so. Because it’s just not the right time, not yet. I can’t quite remember what it was before 2022, but last January I took things a little bit slower, and in 2023 I am taking a whole new level about planning my year and organising.

It may not be the best time to set goals for the New year

You know, I was just thinking about this. Imagine if you had to finish all your projects and deadlines by the end of December, clean and clear everything you were working on, including your home, your laptop, your phone, planning next year, privately or business wise – all while preparing for Christmas – I think I would be institutionalised. Medically.

So, that’s why we have January. Luckily. The dead season for so many businesses, and as we’ve concluded so far – with a reason.

Well then, what the heck to do in January and how to prepare for New year? Here we go.

Since things are the way they are, the intensity of December has been heavy on us. Finishing tasks, bringing things to end, preparing for Christmas – whatever that means to you, preparing for New year celebration – if you party and all, mostly eating to much food, getting out all that heavy clothes, pressure you feel as a business owner (or a future one) to make money in the season when everyone has shallow pockets – this really is not the best time to set goals for the year ahead. What to do instead?

Get off with the pressure to START

First and foremost, you really don’t have to do anything grand at the beginning of a year, except enjoy with your loved ones, tuck in, read books, drink tea, cook nourishing food, take walks, and well – do a bit of work if you can’t avoid it. It’s not much of what you do – but more how you do it. This time, the beginning of a new year, is really your time to take it slow. Slow food, slow talks, slow plans, slow thoughts. There is no rushing through chores. No rushing through plans and notes, no goals and dreams of big and shiny successes and achievements.

This is time of being in a space between letting go (finishing the tasks) and birthing again (starting new things when we move a bit further into the year). You don’t have to set goals, know what you want, start new projects and be ready for new year’s resolutions and have a strict plan. Even if you are a man, becoming passive and entering more into the feminine energy is what’s needed right now. Knowing how to balance these energies is a great gift that can bring a new quality to your life. No matter what others are doing and saying, your inner clock is mostly telling you to take it easy. If nothing else, just look how hard it is to move under all these clothes during winter!

Contemplation and journaling about the past year before planning the new year

While it may not be for everyone, journaling or taking any kind of notes about the previous year might get you some clarity. Not only business wise, but for personal life as well. Thinking what you did and how you did it, and what you would love to do better or differently. Mentally going through the year, month to month, might get you a moment of satisfaction and gratefulness. What you have done, where you have been, whom you have met. Think about how you have handled challenges that were there, and tap yourself on the back for doing as good as you did. I know you did good. I know you did the best you could have done back then. Think about yourself and your life from a perspective of an observer, without guilt, anxiety, fear, or even pride. Just think about it and see and feel in your body how it makes you feel.

You can write down your thoughts, you can ask yourself some questions. Don’t necessarily just record your thoughts, but make conclusions. For example, “When I look at the past year, I realise that I have been in a hurry and stress for wanting to achieve what I have set my mind to. I wonder if I could do the same without stressing. Do I really need stress in my life/business? Is it possible to do business without stressing/fearing/anxiety/lack of sleep?”. Having time with yourself could help you learn about yourself, find new ways for dealing with things that matter, find new solutions to existing problems, help you see and cherish how you’ve changed, make you feel more grateful, and finally, help you let go the year behind without feeling anything bad about it.

Finishing what needs to be finished

There is always something we didn’t finish by December 31st. Right? Client work, deleting, cleaning, clearing, editing, re-writing, maintaining, paying, invoicing and the list goes on. January is the perfect time to do that. Among regular work and your slow energy and slow pace that you now feel relieved to take, before thinking what’s next and where to go, do what’s left behind. Finish editing photos, make albums, finish your writings, notes, ideas, proposals, thank you letters. Send your clients or people you interact with thank you notes and emails, text messages or send what needs to be sent, physically or digitally.

Cleaning and clearing

If you’re like me and you haven’t done autumn decluttering, the time has come, my love. You shouldn’t be getting away with it. It’s a beautiful time to slowly declutter your home and office space. Clean your computer files, bin and downloads folders, organise folders, delete old files and organise folders and albums on your phone (you might need a month for this one, wink). You can clean your emails, open unread messages, organise folders and labels, pay what needs to be payed, or send invoices you didn’t (haha, bet you don’t have those).

Continue to clean your drawers, shelves, closets, pantry, and all those places that keep piles of everything safe, but also keep your energy stuck. Throw away everything that you didn’t use in a while, donate what you can, sell what’s for selling, exchange, gift, get it out and make room for breathing and for new things to come your way. Not only physically, but energetically. There is a story about how I made a flash sale party in my backyard years ago when I was getting ready to start something on my own (even before the idea of starting a blog), but I won’t bother you this time. 😀 Maybe you’ve already heard me mention it somewhere. Anyhow, it was a really good start and it has made a difference in my life.

One thing a day will make a big difference in the long run and set you all clean and fresh for the new when the time comes. Soon, but slowly and steady.


Oh, this is my absolute favourite this year and I say a big, a huge YES, YES to this. Unsubscribing from emails and subscriptions. Ohh. How many emails are you subscribed to? 20? 50? You don’t even know it. And I knew it. Not because I’m psychic, but because I just did it myself. I happen to have subscribed to so many newsletters that I just happen to put aside for a later reading that never came. Unsubscribe. Emails I am getting because I wanted a 10% discount. Unsubscribe. People, places, events, products, services, vibes, styles I am no longer interested in (even I might go back some day and subscribe again). Those who take my attention and energy without giving anything back, those who just sell and I never connected to them, those who make me feel like I need to, have to, must, should or just make me feel not good enough or that I’m missing out in whatever way. Unsubscribe.

This year I want to create much more than I consume, and I have learned more than enough to make my own way up. I have unsubscribed from all the big names out there that I feel they bring no or very little worth to my days, and my aim is to connect more to small people who make a difference in my world. Less emails, less distractions. And yes – every brand I purchased from – I still know where you are and I’ll visit you when I need you – thank you and unsubscribed. My soul feels lighter.

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Speaking of which, my beloved and loved newsletter Inspired conversations is having a comeback and there is more I will be making out of it, so make sure to subscribe. What a timing, huh? I just had to. Wink. #senseofhumor

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Pay your taxes

That one is a sentence for itself.

Connect with your loved ones

This is a perfect time to call friends and family you haven’t heard in a while, to talk to friends you don’t talk to regularly during the year and send emails, cards or letters to those you don’t feel like talking to. Imagine – letters! I used to write so many letters when I was younger (back in 1878…) and one of the things I wish for in the future is writing again. I just need to find to whom to write to (except one friend I’m planning to surprise with a hand written letter soon). Are pen pals still a thing? I used to find them in teen magazines. Maybe I should try Instagram instead.

What’s next with goal setting and planning?

With all this being said, it’s more than enough to make you through the slow and cosy month of January. This is not about goal setting and planning, but more like cleaning after a party and closing the doors behind, to leave the past with no rests. When we do these things, when we finish what we started, when we clear and clean the space, close what was left open, when we do and finish the tasks we prolonged on, something magical happens.

Ever heard of the loop? The energetic loop we keep spinning around in unable to move further, the one that keeps us stuck repeating the same things again and again? It’s the one that makes you think ‘why haven’t I already done that thing?’, or ‘I didn’t do it – again’, or ‘if only I had… to make it happen’, or ‘once I do this, then I’ll….’… and the time just never comes. Well, that loop. It’s a loop and you will keep spiralling in it until you jump out of it. And to make the jump easier, cleaning, clearing, deleting, finishing and decluttering will make the jump much, much easier. Once you get rid of the stagnant energy that keeps you spiralling in the same old behaviour and habits, this is where the magic happens and where you start flourishing.

Enjoy your feminine energies before setting goals

The tasks I mentioned in this post are more boring and time consuming than actually hard. They are more pain in the ass than exciting, and that is exactly why January is the most perfect time to do them. It’s not in March when buds start to appear, when sun is more out than hidden and when you start getting bursting with energy. It’s not in July when you’re half way through your goals, when you’re at your peak and ready to take a halfway through and rest – aka vacation – before heading to new creative endeavours in autumn. And it’s definitely not in December because… well, December.

So, leave the masculine energy for when it’s best to use, when we slowly move towards spring, when nature will start to warm and wake up. Enjoy your passive, sensual, moody, slow, creative and feminine energies of home, daydreaming, note taking, clearing, creating, cleaning and preparing. It’s a beautiful time to be alive, isn’t it?

When is it time to set goals for the new year?

Soon. When you are deeply rested, nourished, rejuvenated of all the hygge vibes you’ve been treating yourself with and with all the energy you’ve released you will have enough time to set goals and plan your New year and new cycle by the end of the month. Stay with me, because I am right in the middle of organising my workflow and planning the New year in a bit different way. One that is more aligned with who I am, how I live and what I want from this life. Will be posting about it soon. If you don’t see it coming, make sure to remind me over on Instagram. If you’re new here say hello at [email protected] or drop me a line on @marina.cosic.

With that being said, I will leave you to think about it for a few moments. Make a list of things you want to clean, declutter, free, finish and do in January, and start today by doing one thing. If you don’t know where to start – do as I did – clean your inbox. 😉 Good luck.

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