It's winter, it's cold and it's dark (but if you think Shanghai is dark you should experience winter in Denmark and the northern countries - some days it doesn't get light'ish until 9.30 and it starts getting dark already at 2pm again...).
Cold & dark December was bearable because it is such a cozy month! Everyone is getting in Christmas mood or at least trying to which includes lots of fun, food, drinks & "hygge" (a form of coziness in Danish, our no. 1 Christmas word).
But after Christmas days and New Year's fun comes January. What's left is the coldness & the darkness and what seems like some really long weeks and months lying ahead. All the things we exaggerated with in December now needs to be minimized whether its spending, smoking, drinking, eating or being lazy! Waaaa, is this just a sad sad month ma?
Well, it can be. Or not.... How can we create some light, some comfort & not least some excitement in this first month of the year?
Juuhuuuu it's January!
What about making January an exciting time of the year. A fresh start where we can finally breathe again after all those over-booked days, parties, dinners, Christmas lunches, shopping malls, expectations, crowded streets (oh wait they are still here), molded-wine head aches and Christmas carols. It's the beginning of the year and the perfect time to (Ii) decide on what we want to focus on in the new year (ii) plan how we will do it. Let me share my intentions & plans with you for inspiration =)
Set your intentions
My two point of focuses for the new year are: Yoga & China.
I want to focus on Yoga. I dream about taking a teacher training course on an exotic island, preferably later this year. But before I do so I want to have taken my daily practice to a high level and proven to myself that I really want it and that it's not just an "escape from evil everyday life and reality". Since I started my new, very exciting & very busy job in September my daily yoga practice have been limited to a 2-3 days a week practice. Which is acceptable, I'm only human. But then December busyness came which resulted in an absolute minimum of training, followed by holiday in Denmark where I don't even have a yoga mat... (oh hello excuses). Let's just say I ended 2014 with the feeling that my incredible yoga progress had been absolutely stopped.... or paused I mean, because now it's a new year and January is my opportunity to get back into daily practice. January is my new best friend!
I also want to focus on China. Though I don't know how long time I have left in this fascinating country, I do know that my time is limited (next stop: nature, fresh air & clean ocean) so I want to make the absolute most of it in 2015. I want to travel more & I want to learn more.
SO, start planning!
To kick-start January I've kick-started my yoga practice from day 1 back in Shanghai. Even when it's too dark, too cold & I think I'm too tired I plan to practice before work. My favorite motivation in regards to yoga, running, learning Chinese etc. is to tell myself: it is not easy, if it was easy the whole world would do handstands, run marathons, speak Chinese & move mountains. But they don't. Because it's not easy. It's hard work to learn, to grow, to progress, to do something new & different and to become stronger both physically and mentally. But it is worth it and we only live once so get up and get started (okay a bit dramatic but it works when I'm lying in my warm bed at 6.30 and the alarm clock kicks in).
To make January better I find that I need something to look forward to. I also need some concrete plans for my intention of focusing more on China. A perfect solution to both these "issues" seems to be: traaaaavel plaaaans. So, I have decided to travel out of Shanghai at least once every month this year and first to go is my best friend January. Exciiiiting! It's even more exciting that my January plans have already been made. It will be on my birthday and this trip will be to Harbin, the famous Ice Festival City in North East China. Hopefully I will celebrate my birthday in a whole new world made out of ice and get to see a Siberian Tiger Baby.... Check out more about Harbin here.
I'm definitely super excited about January & the new year and all the challenges, rewards & magical things it will bring.
Friends, do something good for yourself and start planning your 2015 intentions as well as plan something to look forward to in this rather cold & dark time (travel plans travel plans travel plans). Oh I might just start thinking about February's trip.. Any travel recommendations in China and trips out of Shanghai let me knooooow <3