Happy Lunar New Year! 8 Ways To Channel The Metal Ox In Your Home & Life
The Lunar New Year is coming up this week (on Friday, February 12), and 2021 will be a Year of the Metal Ox.
The Ox in the Chinese Zodiac is known for loyalty, humility, hard work, diligence, and steadfastness—making this year a fabulous one for creating solid foundations and committing to goals. It's also a good time to look at ways to cultivate more grounded, consistent, and positive energy in your home and your habits. Here are a few practices to help you channel that Ox-like energy at home, this year and beyond:
1. Focus on the positives, day after day.
The saying, "What you focus on will grow," really resonates when I think of the Ox year. One great habit you can pick up any time is logging all the positive moments of your day into a journal. This is a way to fully acknowledge that good things—big and small—can happen, even in challenging times.
2. Set a solid plan, and synch up with a support system.
Review your goals—personal and professional if both apply—and make a solid plan for bringing them to life. Remember: You can always change your plans, but it's still incredibly valuable to make them! As you do, try to avoid overloading yourself with too much at once. Positive, steadfast, and grounded action (or any action at all) is hard to take when you're overwhelmed.
Then, I'd recommend finding a "goal buddy" to keep you on track. Have a weekly meeting with a friend where you celebrate each other and also support each other. This is always an incredibly valuable practice but especially now that it's been so hard to feel focused and socially connected.
3. Clean up your sleep space.
If you could use some help in the sleep department (most of us could!), decluttering your bedroom and closet is an excellent first step. Then, vow to start logging off electronics an hour or two before bed. If you can, keep all electronics shut off and far from your bed. Even if you already sleep well, these tweaks can help supercharge even more excellent, clearheaded rest.
4. Organize your paperwork, including your digital stuff.
The Metal element that's featured this year is very much associated with creating and maintaining order around you so that you can thrive. And my clients who have been working remotely tell me that papers are the main source of clutter that they struggle with.
Take a step to organize the chaos by starting a file system—real paper files if needed, and definitely lots of digital files—to put everything in its place where you can easily find it again.
5. Try a productivity app that reminds you to take breaks.
My clients have raved to me about the Pomodoro Method, which breaks the day into small chunks of concentrated work mixed in with short and long breaks. There are phone apps to help you to get into the rhythm of it.
6. Keep yourself grounded with nature.
After having just repotted five plants and a tree (and purchased many more plants than I'd ever anticipated), I can personally attest to how grounding houseplants can be—especially if you live in a city.
Beyond bringing the outdoors in, getting outside in nature and deeply connecting to the Earth can bring on inspiring benefits. Recommit to doing it more this year, and always.
7. Keep food on hand that keeps you feeling energized.
In feng shui philosophy, bowls of fruit are fabulous for boosting your home's energy (and, you know, providing a healthy snack). Citrus fruits are particularly prized, but every fruit you love is an excellent pick.
8. Start each day by doing anything meditative that helps you to become more present.
Soon after getting out of bed, get in the habit of doing a meditation, visualization, a walk, a yoga class, a journaling session, or any other meditative activity you can stick with. When the morning starts with actions that help you feel great, that energy echoes through your day. You'll find that these activities are easier to do once your home is clean and fresh, so embrace regular home maintenance this year! It's never going to be perfect, but the key is to be consistent. I believe that when you're consistently polishing your home, you're polishing up your life's energy, too.
While these themes of the Year of the Metal Ox may not seem wildly and glamorously thrilling on the surface, they can lead to real results and abundance. Not only is this a great time to shore up new habits that will always serve you, but it's also an excellent time to celebrate yourself and every step you take in the journey of making amazing things happen in 2021.