I’ve never been a massive fan of starting the year on New Year’s Day. I know it’s officially the start of the year, but it’s in the middle of winter, I’m usually (okay always) hungover, and my focus is inevitably on friends and family, rather than what I want my year to look like. I try my best a few days in: reflecting on the year past and setting intentions for the year ahead, but it’s rare that I make much progress in January. I’m just more of a ‘hibernate during winter, start anew in the spring’ kind of a girl.

So my year normally gets off to a not-so-flying start around March time, and I always feel like I’m lagging behind, that I’ve wasted so much of the year. Normally. But this year? Not so normal. I’ve decided that today, a whole month early, is when my year will begin. So what’s so special about today? How about this: it’s the start of the week, there’s a new moon, and it’s Chinese New Year! The Chinese are so wise. Don’t have new year in the middle of grim, horrid winter. Wait until the end of winter when it’s practically spring!

So today I started anew. With renewed determination to meet my goals. And a new productivity regime (more fun than it sounds I hope!) that consists of using my new Spark Planner, and the 52:17 method. The 52:17 method sees me work with complete focus on my task (not my default setting) for one hour, and then take the next 15 minutes off, to read, go for a walk, or play with Kimber. So far I’ve been using it for half a day and it’s really working. I’ve written a blog post for a client, answered all my emails, checked in with my coaching group, planned out my weekly goals, and in about ten minutes I’ll have published this post too! For me, on a Monday, that’s pretty impressive.

Of course the trick will be to continue in this vein. But like I say, this feels like the start of the year for me, and that feeling of excitement should be enough to carry me through. Besides, while out walking Kimber at lunch time I was greeted, after the deluge of rain this morning, by blue skies and blossom on the trees. So hopefully Spring is just around the corner, which feels like the perfect time to start the year.


Click here to find out more about the new moon! 

Find out more about Chinese New Year and the Year of the Monkey here!

Find out about the Spark Planner here!

Click here to learn more about the 52:17 productivity method!