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This New Year has been a funny one and really quiet.  Where once we partied hard on New Year’s Eve, last night it was the two of us, 2 of our 3 children and one of our eldest daughter’s friends. I can’t tell you how odd I felt; kind of not really experiencing ‘New Year’.

It hit me today, whilst relaxing in the bath (where I reckon I do most of my best thinking, actually) why I didn’t really feel the ‘New Year Vibe’.

I’ve been working really hard over the last year to accept myself as I am.  To be happy where I am at the moment and not to feel inadequate.  I’ve worked through a lot of ‘shoulding’ and let go of big projects that felt wrong. I’ve been busier juggling work, business, family, studying, friends and me time than ever before and as a result I’ve worked hard to ensure that I made sacred space for me to relax and grow.

I started new spiritual practices that I’ve not quite managed to stay with all year but I am still dipping into them as I see fit.  And I’ve most definitely not been dieting. Or bingeing.

That’s not to say I’m perfect, I’ve been drinking more than I would have liked over the last couple of months but I’m ready to go back to my usual habits, rather than making dramatic pledges to quit.

I didn’t hold with the common belief that ‘2106 was bad’.  Sure, a lot of well known people died and yes, some of them I felt really sorry to see go.  Victoria Wood and George Michael shaped my childhood and early adolescence (in different ways) but I never saw the passing of celebrities as making the year a bad one. For me, there have been challenges and triumphs, celebrations and heart aches, just as there are for everyone, every year.

I feel like this past year has been a quiet journey but a huge step forwards in seeing each day fresh, living as much as possible in the present and self acceptance.

So, whilst I want to continue on this path of growth and self discovery, I am not about to embark on the path to failure by setting unrealistic expectations of myself. Some of my goals for this year are to finish things I started in 2016. Some of my goals are to take small steps to the big dreams. Some are simply to continue accepting things as they are, whether they change or not.

I’m still finding my new voice. My message for now is that the traditional idea that a new year requires big goals and change may not be right for you in this moment now. Perhaps, until you come to terms with where you are there can be no growth.  Perhaps that is your growth, that self acceptance.