I have made plans for a winter vacation. I’ll be in Iceland during the first week of the new year. Iceland has been on my bucket list for some time—I’m looking forward to the strange, volcanic landscape and the magic of the Northern Lights. I don’t usually go on trips during the winter, but I’m thinking it will be a nice way to not only break up the shorter, darker days, but also to ring in the new year. Granted, I’m going to a place that will certainly be cold and dark, but it’s away from the daily reality of my life and into an adventure. A time for renewal. New, unusual sites and new people. Different routine, different setting. It helps to shake things up in order to reset sometimes. Most of all, having this trip on my calendar feeds that spark of hope that looks forward to exploration and new experiences.
These sort of plans don’t really need to be as expensive (though I got a deal) or involved as a trip abroad. Something as simple as a day trip to visit a nearby town or landmark or looking forward to curling up with a new book on a quiet winter’s day can work just as well.
If you’re feeling down or just blah as summer wanes, then consider planning some things to look forward to during the fall and winter months. Putting them on your calendar can lift your spirits on days when it feels like you’re just stuck in the routine of work, school, and errands. Decide to visit that local pumpkin patch this fall. Mark down the release date of your favorite author’s new book or the movie you’ve been dying to see. Go ahead and sign up for a class that’s not happening until the fall. Decide on a trip, big or small, you’d like to take as the months get colder and darker and put it on your calendar. Not only will planning ahead keep you ahead of the game, it will anchor your spirit on days when you’re frustrated.
So, what can you schedule now to look forward to later? What will make you smile or give you that extra motivation you need on tough days when you see it on your calendar?
(Image: Winter by Ernest Lawson, oil on canvas, 1914. Courtesy of The Met’s Open Access program.)