Spring is the time when animals come out of hibernation, and new life enters the world. From tadpoles come frogs, and from eggs, baby birds. Dogs, horses, cattle, deer, and most other mammals shed out their winter coat, and grow into a sleek new skin for summer. All the animals that hibernate – bears, chipmunks, skunks, bees – wake up in spring to start the new year long after the first of January.
This got me thinking about my own thoughts and preconceived ideas. Maybe it’s time to shed some of my old habits. Start anew. Do something good for myself. This seems like a much better time than in the dead of winter on 31 December when we have to learn to write a new yearly number. What better time to make a resolution than when the sun shines and the days get longer?
A new year has been the prescribed time for resolutions since the days of the Babylonians. At the beginning of each year they would promise their gods that they would repay debts and return borrowed objects. And look how far we’ve come. I wonder if they gave up their New Years resolution in 2 or 3 weeks like most people do today?
My plan is to work on resolutions now, while the days get longer and the sun shines brighter. It’s when I feel energized, along with fall, which is another time when I feel a new beginning creep in, because that’s when we started school.
According to Wikipedia, some of the most popular goals each New Year’s Eve are:
- Eat healthier, lose weight – what better time than the spring, when farmers markets open and spring vegetables pop up from the ground? And for those who garden, early spring is when we dream of what we can plant this year, and what we can get started early indoors or in the greenhouse. Certainly, better than in January with snow and ice. Nice weather means a walk or jog outside in the sun, not battling snow or ice.
- Improve mental well-being – for people affected by SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder – not enough sun light), January is a hard time to pull through. But now we enter daylight savings time, and its light later in the day. Get out and enjoy it! Do something slightly outside your comfort zone, try something new. Learning a new skill is a great ego booster. Boost your serotonin and adrenaline.
- Improve finances, get out of debt, pay off credit cards – all hard to do in winter when we are paying for heating oil/propane, bundling up in heavy clothes, buying Christmas presents…. Spring should be easier to plan financially. Start setting aside a few dollars every month for your contingency fund. Bike or walk instead of using the car (save gas money!). Start hitting yard sales rather than buying an expensive new item.
- Self-improvement, education improvement – I think everyone is more optimistic in spring compared to winter. Of course, school schedules start in January and end in May, but spring break comes in March or April! I find myself more willing to learn something new now.
- Spend time with family – make new friends – get along better with people…. all people skills, which are easier to obtain when we feel happy. Sunshine makes us all feel better and helps out bodies produce serotonin, the feel-good hormone. That makes it easier for us to be nice to each other, and interact socially on a more personal level than in the dead of winter. Plan the backyard barbecue for Memorial day now, or better yet have friends over this weekend.
So shed your winter coat too. Get outside. Do something that makes you feel good and gets you moving around. It can be anything: gardening, biking, roller skating, boating, jogging, or a Sunday afternoon stroll.
Who else can make a spring time resolution with me?