happy "no more meetings this year" day

today is my “don’t make any new commitments for the rest of 2018” day. i realized last year that october 1 is the date that two of my personal system practices intersect.

the first is that i generally plan my schedule about six weeks in advance. the second is that i try not to plan any new meetings or work projects in the final six weeks of the year (basically, thanksgiving through new year’s eve).

i started experimenting with that second one in 2017. i realized that the reason the end of my year was always so crazy because i didn’t have a practice of slowing down but the holidays and winter weather made it harder to do the same amount of stuff. in trying to live more aligned with the seasons and working to develop a real practice of hiberation, i saw that i needed to find some way to put on the brakes.

so the simplest (but definitely not the easiest) thing to do was just to stop planning new things for the last chunk of the year. this way i could actually complete all the commitments i’d made throughout the year (or be clear and communicate that i wasn’t gonna be able to follow through with them) and still have time to slow down and also prepare for the next year, including prepping my annual retreat agenda.

that meant that i shouldn’t plan anything new after mid november. but since i also plan things about six weeks in advance, oct 1 is the date where six weeks out is mid-november. and thus “no more meetings this year” day was born! anything that was already on my radar is still fair game for getting scheduled, but 90%+ of new things opportunities that come my way for this calendar year are getting a “no.”

it’s felt pretty good so far even though it IS hard to just say no. there are just so many dope things that come up but i know i need just keep building my “no” muscle and know that i’m going to thank myself for having said no and protecting this time come holiday season. it’s gonna feel so good to just be at home in florida and read books and hang and eat food and sit in my hammock in the chilly but sunny, tolerable florida weather. and not have any work to do.

i’m curious what other practices folx have for slowing down at the end of the gregorian calendar year…?

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