A new year. Hopes. Dreams. Possibilities.

I love January. Like December, it’s hot, humid and not conducive to fervent activity. It differs however in that because so many are on holidays, it can be lazy month with days spent on the couch watching tennis and waiting for the afternoon thunderstorm to roll in. It can be a month where a whole lot of nothing goes on.

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of spaciousness as it’s in those spaces that new ideas form, that we can shake ourselves out of automatic routines and ask “Is this really how I want to live my life?”

If we follow the seasons (climate and culture) then January presents itself as a natural month for reflection. Fortunately all this balmy weather and freedom coincides with another cultural reflection time – the new year. I’ve written elsewhere about new year resolutions and how they aren’t really the most effective strategy for long-term change. Resolving, or making that decision, to do or see things differently is an important step in change, but it’s not the only one. There’s usually a whole lot of action that comes after it – which is sort of the opposite of how I like to live out my January.

My January is about thinking big, having dreams, reconnecting with the things I’m passionate about and care about. It’s about remembering that for me, a life lived in mediocrity is a life half lived. From these big ideas the plan flows, even if it’s just the next step I have to take. It’s clear.

This article first appeared in the January 2010 edition of Design Notes, the newsletter of the Work/Life Design Program. You can find out more about Design Notes and the WLD Program at www.worklifedesign.com.au