Oddly enough, the week between Christmas and New Year’s is one of my favorite weeks of the year. It’s a time of closing out the old and bringing in the new, for both physical spaces and mental spaces. The physical requires manually taking down, putting away and setting back up. One example is taking down Christmas decor, packing it away and redecorating for the winter season. The mental involves looking back and evaluating the past year. We can think about lessons learned, decide what we want our life to look like, and choose new habits. It’s all part of how we reset after the holidays.
Here are some ideas for a post-holiday reset and closing out the year. Don’t try to do them all! Getting overwhelmed by a list of have-to’s is the last thing you want after a busy holiday. Use this list to spark ideas that you can adapt for your household and situation. You know your life better than anyone. Feel free to take what you can use to reset after the holidays, and leave the rest!
Reset After the Holidays
- Start the process of choosing your Word of the Year. Make this as detailed or as simple as you want. You can get into it by journaling, researching and narrowing down the choices, or you can go with a word that speaks to you. There’s no January 1st deadline, so don’t fret.
- Clean out the current year’s files and move financial information to a place handy for future tax preparation.
- Take down holiday decor, pack it away and move to storage. This job won’t be as hard as you think, it’s quicker than putting it up and making decisions about placement! Look forward to the feeling of a fresh start.
- Reset home decor with a cozy winter theme. You don’t have to get extreme–switching out couch pillows and candles, adding a few touches like bare branches or an icy wreath will go a long ways towards creating a wintry atmosphere that isn’t Christmas-y.
- Get ready to use your new planner, tracker, journal or other paper tools. If you’ve already bought one, great–write your name in it and start making plans. If you don’t have one, it’s a great time to shop because even discount stores will have the best selection of the year. Don’t try to think of the whole year ahead, just think of the first quarter. 90 days is about all our brains can handle at a time anyway.
- Make a winter menu plan, even if it’s just a simple list of meals to choose from (that’s all mine will be!). Soups, stews, chili, casseroles, easy breads–anything that can be thrown into a slow cooker or electric pressure cooker is worth extra points! Sure, you could keep all of this in your brain, but a written list (or a list in the Notes app of your phone) can be scanned for a grocery list or inspiration when your brain is full of other things. Trying to remember All The Things–even simple things–takes up valuable brain space that can create vague underlying stress.
- Clean out a drawer. That’s all I’m gonna say. Don’t overwhelm yourself with a huge project right now. A couple of weeks ago I decluttered and rearranged a couple of small makeup drawers. It took about 10 minutes and every time I open the drawers I’m glad I did it. It’s funny how we gauge the difficulty of a task by how we FEEL about it, not by how hard it actually is or how long it will actually take to do. So turn on some music or a podcast and do a quick drawer declutter. It’s the gift that keeps on giving: the gift of relief and pride in yourself and a little jolt of efficiency.
As you’re thinking about a reset after the holidays, focus on what you’ll gain from your efforts. Take advantage of a time of year that naturally lends itself to change and a fresh start. Instead of thoughts of dread, get excited about the chance to create new things in your life!
What do YOU plan to do to reset after the holidays this year?