Why do we start our resolutions on January 1st?

A far more auspicious time to start new endeavours would be on the first new moon of the new year.

I came across the information this week that most people don’t make it past January 19th with their new year’s resolutions.

I’m not surprised. I’ve been feeling myself how our hopes for ourselves and the practicalities of our lives don’t always align.

I had a long awaited project that I was excited to take on this year: Home Ec for the Modern Human. My approach wasn’t so much a resolution as an intention to finally make room to engage with these ideas and questions.

And yet, when it came time to begin, I felt a kind of inertia.

The calendar said January 1st – that must mean ‘ready to begin’, right?

But this wasn’t a time of beginning in the world around us.

Not yet…

It was only last night that it really clicked why…

We ignore the cycles of nature at our peril.

Last year, my mother got me a beautiful journal (sadly, not available anymore) that showed the cycles of the moon.

I loved seeing the little pictures on design of each month, showing me what was happening in the sky. I often couldn’t see it with my own eyes, due to heavy clouds, bright city lights, or the fact that it’s so easy to fail to look up.

It made me realise how little I thought about the moon, or the energy shifts in the world around me.

We are conditioned to respond to the layouts of calendars created in reference to the sun, with designations and divisions created by humans.

But if the moon affects the tides, the light that reaches our world, and women’s cycles, is it so crazy to think it is affecting us too?

Personally, I adore astrology, even though I am also a total skeptic about using it to forecast one’s future. I love reading my horoscope, but would be reluctant to live my life by it.

But you don’t have to be an astrology buff to think about more about how to work with these natural rhythms.

This year, I decided to embrace my curiosity about the moon, and to be more aware of what is happening in the sky above me. I ordered a diary that shows what is happening with the moon each day. (Sold out now, sorry!)

And it just so happens that right now the moon is waning.

This means that it is a time for reflection, for drawing inwards, for considering things in stillness.

Probably not the best time to launch on action oriented new projects.

No wonder I have been feeling the need to gather my thoughts and resources, and to wait. My anxiety-driven compulsion to push ahead was swimming against the tide – quite literally.

But things are about to change.

The new moon is coming.

This Wednesday (13 January 2021) marks the arrival of a new moon – the Wolf Moon, according to my diary.

I can feel my energy focusing – ready to sent intentions and to begin.

So this is when I’m going to try to begin this project for myself.

This realisation has actually made me reconsider the whole structure of this project.

I was hoping to tackle different categories each month, but it seems so much more appropriate to tie things to lunar flow for an experiment that is about domestic life and things that are traditionally women’s work.

You haven’t missed your chance.

If you’re despairing about failing your new year’s resolution, it is not too late – maybe you were simply starting at the wrong time.

The year truly turns over with the first new moon of January.

I hope I can remember this for next year in 2022 – when the novelty and buzz of the new year feels hot and fresh. To wait, to take a moment, to look at what is happening in the world, as well as my won goals, and see if there is away to try to synchronise these together.

Plus it’s worth remembering, there is a new moon every month.

The cycle of reflection and regneration is ongoing.

It’s never too late to make a resolution.

It’s never too late to try something new.

Photo by Mark Tegethoff on Unsplash