New Years ReSLOWlutions…

Well hello and welcome to a new year and a new decade. You may think it is a bit late for a New Years Resolutions blog entry. But I only came back to “work” today, as yesterday was Plough Monday.

Plough Monday

References to Plough Monday date back to the late 15th century, and was the traditional start of the English agricultural (therefore, working) year.

Plough Monday is generally the first Monday after Twelfth Day (Epiphany), 6th January. So, those of you that started work before this day, shame on you! Call yourself an Idler or a follower of Slow?

The day traditionally saw the resumption of work after the Christmas period. A plough was often hauled from house to house in a procession, collecting money. This was often accompanied by musicians, an old woman or a boy dressed as an old woman, called the “Bessie”, and a man in the role of the “fool”. There would be “goose dancing” and considerable drinking and revelry.

The Plough Monday customs (like most cool old traditions) declined in the 19th century with the change to an industrialised society.

Resolutions the Slow Way

Did you managed to slow down your Christmas and eek it out until Epiphany? Or was it as hectic as ever and went the blink of an eye?

Have you made any New Years resolutions? It all seems to be a bit ridiculous really, as the start of each day is technically a start of a New Year, but I have to admit to quite liking the idea of New Year as a time to take stock, reflect and plan ahead. Really that was what the Winter Solstice was initially about and winter is the ideal time to sit back, reflect and plan.

So how do you do resolutions the Slow Way?

1. Be Honest

Do you really want to do it? Or are you just doing it because you think you should? If you really don’t want to do it, you won’t even manage the 1st step! So relax and enjoy yourself.

2. Resolving NOT to do Something?

Unfortunately, we live hectic and busy lives. So trying to add more to it will often mean that you won’t stick to it (the old “last in, first out” principle), so whilst resolving to do some new things, also make sure you resolve NOT to do some things as well. See here for more information on starting your own NOT to do list and click here to download your own, so you can get started straight away!

3. Limit Yourself

Doing too much, will mean you will overwhelm yourself and give in. So do one thing at a time for about 15 minutes a day (if that) and ease into it gently. You will find you will get more done and the changes will last longer than if you try and do it all at once!

Read more about how limiting yourself can make you more productive at Leo Babauta’s excellent blog “Zen Habits” here: www.zenhabits.net

4. Enjoy the Journey

There is nothing worse than aiming for some future goal and having a miserable time trying to achieve it.  Ask yourself “what is the most fun way I can achieve this goal?” (not the quickest). Life is a journey, not a destination…

COMING SOON! “Welcome to the Slow Life” Online eCourse.

Make 2010 your year for slowing down. In keeping with the spirit of New Year’s Resolutions, I am launching a 6-week “Welcome to the Slow Life” eCourse to inspire, guide and support you in your pursuit of a slower life.

Each week you will be emailed a module on a specific topic where you will be given practical tips you can incorporate into your everyday life and exercises and experiments to try out. I hope that at the end of the course you’ll have a new, deeper appreciation of the slow philosophy and a richer, more fulfilling life:

Module 1: Introduction

Module 2:
Creating Space to be Slow

Module 3:
Mindful Living and Appreciating the Present Moment

Module 4: Slow Wealth

Module 5: Slow Health

Module 6: Bringing it all together and planning your Slow Life

During the 6 weeks of your course, you will access to me via email to ask questions, get clarification or explore a topic in more detail.

You will also receive:

  • “Welcome to the Slow Life” eBook and Audiobook
  • “Deep Relaxation Primer” Audio Programme
  • VERY SPECIAL BONUS: Welcome to the Slow Live – LIVE!!

Enrolment Fee: I am offering a very special rate of $49.99 ($39.99 for pre-registration) for the first run of the course (usual price will be $79.99).

I have to admit, I have got a little over excited and jumped the gun a bit with this announcement, the course isn’t quite ready yet and will be launching very soon.

So, to get a sneak peak and the chance to sign up at a reduced “pre-registration” course ($39.99) fee email me by filling out the contact form here and just put “Welcome to the Slow Life pre-registration” in the message box. I will add your name to the mail list and email you a cool “sneak peak” at the course.

Matt

PS, What are your plans to make 2010 a Slower Year than last year? Leave you comments below…