Let's Go into the New Year Slowly (And Welcome Back!)

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Image by Karissa Nickish
Hi there, followers! Thought I (Cate) would pop in before today's post to share a bit on a more personal note. It seems it has been a good minute since the last post here on Habit & Heart. And, by a minute, I really mean five months. Simply writing that out pains me a bit, if I am being completely honest. I pride myself on being a loyal, consistent person - in my relationships, work, and goals. Yet, sometimes, you just can't be. With the start of college, moving states, and an overall large transition in my life, this blog was easily one of the first things to go in order to focus on my current season of life. Though not completely intentional, I knew I needed a break - to focus and keep up with less so that I could be fully present. 

Yet, excuses and explanations aside, H&H is back beginning this new year. It is going to be a bit more sparse this time around - posting just once a week rather than twice - but hopefully with more attention and consistency. So, cheers to new beginnings and to try, try again.


Moving into a new year, it is easy to feel the pressure of feeling "new". We feel as though we need to have last year all wrapped up in a pretty bow, reflected on & learned from - all by midnight on December 31st. (Well, more like by 5 p.m. because we have places to go and people to see, right?) And, then, we should wake up on New Years Day with resolutions thoroughly thought out - and if you are like me, intricately watercolored and posted on Instagram by 10 a.m with a meaningful caption.

Here is the deal - that is not bad. I actually pretty into that whole system if I am being honest with my type-A self. Yet, that is not reality for many of us. We are not always ready to completely begin anew, even as tempting as society makes it look. And - between you and me - that is where I am at, so let's go through this together, OK?

"We are not always ready 
to completely begin anew, even as tempting 
as society makes it look."

Image by Karissa Nickish

So, here are few reminders as we enter this new year.

It is OK to Not be Finished with 2016

Heck, it was just a few weeks ago. You do not have to forget the past and move on just because of a mere year change. If you have goals you have not yet accomplished from the past year, continue! If you still need time to reflect on the past year - what you learned, accomplished, or how you have grown - reflect! There is not a deadline or handbook that tells us we must have it all completed by a certain day. Learning and growing is a process, and one that is so rewarding when given proper timing.

New Year Goals are Good, but not When Contained to 365 Days

How beautiful is it that our culture celebrates the idea of a fresh start each year? Yet, we must not be so quick to think that change and "new" should simply start on January first and end 365 days later. Beginnings and endings of seasons in life are both personal and different for everyone. A goal may only take a few weeks or months - or maybe needs more than a year to complete well. Therefore, let us choose to start new goals when we feel the natural need to - not when society or a planner tells us.

Image by Karissa Nickish
"Beginnings and endings of seasons in life 
are both personal and different for everyone."

Stop With the Negative Self-Talk

Our inner monologue can be the most dangerous aspect to accomplishing goals and moving forward. Author Anne Lamott states that "my mind is a neighborhood I try not to go into alone." Her words ring true to many of us as we examine how poorly we talk to ourselves. So, instead of downing our worth this new year for not accomplishing past resolutions, or being discouraged when we slip up on our new goals, let us remember to treat ourselves like we would treat a friend -- with grace, forgiveness, and the right to move forward.

So, here we are, choosing to go into this year slowly. With goals in mind, grace at heart, and knowing that we do not need January first to be made "new" considering we are being made new each and every day.

What are your current goals?


Please say a kind hello to Karissa Nickish, who will be providing some of her beautiful images in upcoming posts! You can follow along with her bright and cheery photographs on Instagram HERE.


  1. Hi Cate! This post is so refreshing and needed. We like to think we can fit our lives into neat little boxes and that we can simply check things off our list. But unfortunately (and sometimes fortunately), this is not how life goes. The start to the year has been rough, and it feels as if I'm starting over and that I've regressed. But life isn't a straight line from Point A to Point B. My goal is to live day by day and to take a deep breath. Looking forward to more posts!

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