A new season is upon us! It’s the start of new weather, possibly a new schedule, and, most likely, new friends.
Has a new expat moved into your neighborhood? Has a new window of time opened in your schedule? Are you worn out from last season and craving a new rhythm of life?
In the English language, the prefix “re-” means “to go back to the original place.” It also indicates a repetition, again and again anew, with an awareness of undoing. Return . . . reevaluate . . . redecorate . . . replenish. Many “re” words remind us that there is hope of change, that things don’t have to be the same. Revive . . . renew . . . restore.
Maybe this month is your time to reboot?
Is it time to step back and reconsider how to fully live in this new season?
How can you do that?
1. Re-imagine your vision.
A vision includes what you value, what you are passionate about, and what you are aiming for.
What first brought you here? Has this original vision changed as you’ve experienced life here? What ways do you need to revive it?
When you know where you want to go, you will say “no” to commitments that don’t align with your vision and “yes” to those that lead you forward. Take a look at your current activities. Do they fit with your vision?
This new season is an ideal time to remember your vision and to re-imagine it. What life-giving habits did you form this past year that you’d like to continue? Which new ones would you like to begin? Recreate your vision to fit your new circumstances and bring you life.
2. Reset life's rhythm.
In a song, the rhythm is a steady pulse, keeping the music paced and unified. Both sounds and silences make up this rhythm.
Life has a rhythm too. Days and nights, waking and sleeping, working and relaxing—we all have a certain pattern to our days.
What’s your rhythm like?
What song or music genre matches your pace of life? Are you in a “heavy metal gallop”, with a strong driving beat and little silence? An off-beat reggae rhythm, spontaneous and varied? A classical music piece with continual rhythmic change?
It’s fun to think this through! If you’re currently living life to the racing tempo of “Flight of the Bumblebee,” you can reset! Like now!
Are you getting adequate rest in your pace of life? Are you burning out those you love (i.e., small children) with your pace? Are you connecting well through time with friends and family? Is your work satisfying?
Reset your rhythm. It’s refreshing!
3. Realign expectations.
People affect you...and you affect them. How can we get along better?
Perhaps someone new has joined your team or place of work, a new schedule began with your house helper, you got a new roommate, or you now have a new boss. All “new relationships” call for a time to understand each other’s expectations.
An expectation is what we believe will happen. If I asked my employee to please come to work at 9 a.m., I expect her to do just that. If I expect kindness and adequate communication from my teammate, an abrupt, unclear text will feel disturbing.
Many of our expectations are unspoken and lead to disappointment. For example, I may expect my friend to ask me questions about my difficult day. If she doesn’t, I’m disappointed. I never told her to ask me, but I thought she would just know that it’s important to me.
Clarify and realign expectations of those close to you. No one is a mind reader, so these must be voiced. Gently make your language clear so that the other person understands.
Think of one relationship in which you need to realign expectations. You might say to the person, “I was thinking that it might be a good time to talk about our expectations. What changes do you think might be helpful?” Listen, paraphrase what they say, and then share clearly and concisely what you are hoping for. Practice “other-centered listening" in order to be able to appreciate each other’s expectations.
Renewal of relationships awaits you. Begin today by clarifying expectations.
What will greet you this new season? Remake the “old” with healthy changes.