In this episode of the Art & Cocktails podcast, our host Ekaterina Popova, known as Kat, shares insights on easing into the new year with gentleness, grace and intention. While the modern world marks January as the beginning of the year, it's fascinating to discover that in ancient Roman times, the new year was celebrated in March.

As we start on our journey of self-improvement and goal-setting, Kat encourages us to approach our aspirations with kindness and mindfulness. In a world often saturated with the pressure to start the new year with grand resolutions and ambitious goals, she offers an alternative perspective, highlighting the importance of a gradual, sustainable approach.

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Here are some of the gentle ways Kat suggests for making the most of the new year:

Embrace Slow Progress: Instead of succumbing to overwhelming pressure, Kat emphasizes the need for a gradual and sustainable approach to achieve big goals. She likens this process to training for a marathon, where consistent effort and patience lead to success.

Acknowledge Societal Pressure: Kat recognizes the societal pressure to dive headfirst into the new year and advocates for a gentler approach. She reminds us that we don't need to conform to external expectations but can set our own pace.

Historical Perspective: It's intriguing to learn that the new year didn't always begin in January; it was once celebrated in March, aligning with nature's cycle of rest and reflection. This historical insight encourages us to align our goals with the season and our own internal rhythms.

Focus on Small Daily Habits: Instead of attempting drastic changes, Kat suggests easing into the new year at your own pace and concentrating on small, daily habits. These habits can provide a strong foundation for lasting change.

Parallel with Long-Distance Runs: Drawing parallels between her approach to the new year and her strategy for long-distance runs, Kat advises us to start slowly and gradually build momentum. This method ensures a sustainable pace and avoids burnout.

Set Attainable Goals: Rather than succumbing to the pressure of setting numerous resolutions, Kat recommends setting attainable goals that align with your vision. This approach allows for steady progress and increased belief in your ability to achieve them.

Consider March as the New Beginning: An intriguing invitation is to consider March as the start of the new year, allowing for a more natural and gradual approach. This shift in perspective can empower us to embrace a gentler beginning.

Prioritize Daily Joy and Connection: Ultimately, Kat encourages us to prioritize daily joy, connection with loved ones, and self-care. By doing so, we can build a beautiful and fulfilling life that aligns with our vision.

As we venture into the new year, let's remember to approach our goals with a sense of gentleness, self-compassion, and a commitment to long-term growth. This year, it's all about building a life we love, one step at a time.