I hope that you, your family, and all your loved ones had a spectacular holiday season and New Year. November and December are a time of love and togetherness, but honestly, they're also kind of stressful. I'm always happy to start 2016 with a clean slate―no more decorations, no more obligations, no more crazed shoppers. Things can finally get back to "normal," whatever that is.
For me, the New Year is a wonderful time to asses the year past, and set goals for the coming year. What was really successful? What still needs work? I spent New Year's Eve with my planner and workbook just getting a grasp on 2016. A lot has happened in my life over the past year, so some planning and soul searching was (and is!) in order.
I did things like set financial goals for Zu Füß, brainstormed new product ideas, planned events, and, of course, set personal goals for myself.
And that brings us to the elephant in the room. January 1st is a beautiful representation of a clean slate in all our lives, but it's also riddled with constructs meant to keep us down. My biggest pet peeve about this time of year is the "New Year, New You" concept.
Gym memberships and sales of diet foods soar through the roof this month, only to dwindle down to normal over the next month or so. Why?
Simply put, that's how it's supposed to work. If you actually achieved your goals (i.e. got in shape) you wouldn't need to buy a bunch of stuff in January. January and February are the lowest sales months all year for big box retail―so they had to think up some idea to make sales. They spend all year telling us we're not enough. We aren't cool enough. We don't have nice enough clothes. We don't have luxurious enough food. We don't have new enough towels. So, we're more apt to buy whatever trendy crap is on the shelf. And then the new year rolls around.
We're all exhausted from the holidays and, most likely, our wallets hurt. But never fear! Big box retail is here! Now, you're too much. You're too fat. You're too lazy. You're clothes are too ugly. Your house is too disorganized. With this simple paradigm change, we can be persuaded into buying more stuff. Buying more stuff will help fix all the problems that big box retail got us into over the last few months. Soon we forget about trying to better ourselves and get distracted by the next colorful piece of plastic. The cycle continues.
Am I being cynical? I mean, I don't think so. The only way to break the cycle is to be aware of it. And if you want to be aware of it, you can't candy-coat it.
Now, let's be clear: I'm not anti-buying-stuff! But I AM anti-mindless-consumerism. Only buy stuff because you love it and it brings your joy. And, ideally, do so with small businesses. Shopping at small businesses usually insures a more unique item, higher quality, and a real human experience. And! You know that the money you spend is actually helping someone! So shop small. Shop local. And shop mindfully.
We aren't even halfway through the month but there are already so many new things happening at Zu Füß!