Autumn for me is in many ways the start of a new year, almost more so than January. The summer with its associated holidays, long weekend lunches outside, kids home for a while probably too much food, too much wine and too much sun can lead to a sense of sadness when its over. Literally for some people. The nights are drawing in, its colder and darker and you are probably regretting the too much food and too much wine. What better time therefore to take a deep breath, a step back and think about what you want to do to make the most of the last few months of this year and the first few months of next.
By making the start of Autumn your ‘New Year’, you breeze through January and February as just winter months rather than feeling this enormous group pressure to have great goals and resolutions in January. If you start now, you are already half way through your plan by New Year.
So here I am, on my retreat in Portugal with a whole week in which to think about what it is I want to achieve next year. I never set myself massive goals or put myself under too much pressure, its more “when I look back on 2020 what would I like to have done.” I am living off juice and living in an Eco Pod. I am doing Yoga which I have a real love/hate relationship with in that I love the idea and hate the reality.
I thought I would be coming up with all sorts of plans and schemes, but just being here has made me realise that my first plan is myself.
I raise a rather sceptical eyebrow at the term self care, but that is all I have done this week and the difference is enormous. I have slept for about 11 hours a night detoxed my body and cleared my mind with the help of the yoga and meditation instructor. I feel physically and mentally stronger and more grounded, less spinning top or pinball. I know that the reality is that I will get home and real life will intervene and a great deal of the peace and calm will evaporate as early as the passport control queue at Heathrow, but I will be better than I was in the same queue at Lisbon on the way out.
So no, I haven’t come up with a great master plan for the next few months, but what I do know is that whatever they hold I am ready. I am calm, I am focused and I am healthy and so I have got myself in the best possible shape to face whatever the future holds. If you make no other plans either this autumn or in the New Year, make yourself your plan. Get yourself in the best possible shape mentally and physically and if necessary Retreat.