I Resolve to Enjoy More Pajama Days in 2017

On January 1st this year, I broke a pattern that had gone unchallenged for better than forty years. This year, January 1st was one of three holiday pajama days.

I wore my dark blue pajama pants and appropriately embroidered “Expect the Best” light blue pajama top all day. After a hot bath in the early evening, I swapped that set of pajamas for a fresh pair. Those ones were pink and white striped pants with another appropriately embroidered top, this one reading, “Embrace the Moment.”

Note: This post is about both the literal benefits of pajama days and a metaphor for how I intend to live my life in 2017. The messages on my pajamas are not-so-subtle clues.

Pajama Days as Self-Care

At any time of year, pajama days are a balm for the soul, a wonderful form of self-care. I don’t know why.

It may be nothing more than being comfortable while enjoying a relaxing day at home.

It may be because pajamas, when you aren’t ill or exhausted, serve as a signal to everyone, especially yourself, that you are not going to be doing any work that day.

Or perhaps we make unconscious associations between pajamas and the cozy comforts of childhood. Those of you lucky enough to be able to wear flannel pajamas, or the increasingly popular one-piece footie pajamas, can speak to this possibility with more authority. Those particular pleasures, along with turtlenecks and heavy sweaters, have been denied me ever since menopause permanently altered my internal thermostat. (sigh)

The Significance of January 1st

January 1st was just one of three pajama days I enjoyed during the holidays. But it was, by far, the most significant because it was so different from how I have spent January 1st for more than 40 years.

Here’s what New Year’s Day and the week on either side of it looked like for most of my life.

December 26th–December 30th

In the little ebook I wrote (you can get your free copy below), I describe five simple steps to successfully making and achieving your intentions and goals.

I always spend the week before New Year’s Day working on steps one through four. Those steps are about reflection, imagination, and hope.  As I’ve mentioned in other posts, I have a thing for new beginnings and the promise of transformation, so this was always an exhilarating week.

Cover of e-Book, How to be one of the successful 8%.

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December 31st

After spending four days dreaming my ideal life, the 31st was for practicalities. The one piece of advice I ignored, to my detriment, was the bit about increasing your likelihood of success by limiting the number of goals established. Therefore, I inevitably needed to create both a detailed schedule and a multitude of tracking forms.

January 1st

Time to spring out of bed, don the workout wear, and execute that plan! I could usually manage to take action in all of my many areas of self-improvement on January 1st. However, the thought of doing so every day for the rest of my life left me feeling weary and defeated.

January 2nd and Beyond

I would limp along for a while, tweaking my goals so they didn’t require action every single day. Eventually I’d give up tracking and would journal about my efforts instead. Unlike tracking forms, a journal offers ample space for rationalization!

A few days after giving up journalling, I would have forgotten that I’d ever set any goals.

The Last Couple of Years

Eventually I realized that I am more successful when I begin from intentions because they are based on personal values. Choosing anywhere from one to three words that captured what I desired, I would then craft goals to support my intentions. That was a kinder, gentler form of goal-setting that worked for me.

Nevertheless, because my intentions were always aimed at some form of perfection, January 1st was still the day when my life was going to be radically improved. Staying in pajamas all day was still unthinkable.

Lessons from Two Months of ProfoundJourney.com

I followed my usual process this year but, thanks to this site, the results are vastly different.

In the course of publishing 38 posts and an ebook in just two months, I came face-to-face once again with my obsessive ‘Go big or go home’ work ethic. This blog is a more-than-full-time labour of love, with every post exhaustively researched and carefully crafted. It was this very behaviour that took me into burnout  not so long ago.

In my desire to master blogging, I subscribed to the sites of a dozen different ‘experts’. Each expert sent frequent posts detailing the many actions they thought essential to a successful site.  Several were keen to sell me a course where, for $600, I could glean the trade secrets that were netting the expert a million dollars a year for sitting at home, living the dream.

I did not start this blog in order to make money. In fact it’s costing me a fair bit. Nevertheless, there were days when the siren call of the blogging experts got to me and I castigated myself for not having the energy nor the desire to ‘step up my game.’

The extent to which I criticize myself became crystal clear as I worked on each week’s posts.  I wanted to be positive in my writing, and I am. I wanted to offer helpful, practical, research-based ideas, and I believe that I do.

But until I started this site, I had not identified the core task of my personal profound journey. It is to find and strike a balance between the extremes of no sense of purpose (as in the days immediately following burnout) versus unending self-flagellation in a quest for unattainable perfection. Too many of my posts have, for me at least, a faint whiff of self-improvement run amok.

Pajama Days as Metaphor

In 2017, I am devoting myself to finding that balance; to living more of my life in the relaxed ease and comfort that can be found when spending a day in pajamas.Kermit the frog relaxing in a field of daisies

My intention words are SELF-ACCEPTANCE and SAVOUR. In the coming weeks, I will be devoting entire posts to these two words and to the goals that accompany them.

In the meantime, I have unsubscribed from all of the blogging experts and am already revelling in the lost weight of their expectations.

I will continue to post every Thursday morning, but often it will be one post or two, rather than three.

While personal change posts will still be a significant part of the site (what’s life without some challenge to improve!), expect to see more posts reinforcing that we are each exactly where we are supposed to be right now and doing just fine, thanks.

If you are a subscriber, thank you so much! Since I won’t be doing quite as much posting, you will be getting a bit more subscriber-only content: little tidbits of fascination or inspiration included in your short weekly email.

I’d love to hear about your experiences. How are you doing on your profound journey? Any intentions/goals/resolutions you’d like to share? Did you enjoy a pajama day or two during the holidays? Please let us know in the comments below.

 

15 comments

  1. Wonderful post, Karen. I am glad you are taking a kinder gentler approach to not only this blog but yourself as well. I for one, and I am sure many others will agree, don’t want to see you go back into burnout. It is encouraging that you unsubscribed to all those ‘experts’ and at $600. per course, for their trade secrets, I think I can guess just where they got their millions of dollars. 😉

    I think pajama days sound wonderful. I am right there with you when it comes to not being able to wear flannel PJs or heavy sweaters due to the thermostat adjustment thanks to menopause. I really like the sayings on the two tops you described to us. It sure sounds like you have a good handle on how your 2017 Intentions can be accomplished. I can picture you now curled up on the couch in your pajamas and a throw blanket with a book in your lap and a cup of tea by your side while the fireplace burns to keep the winter chill off the house. It sounds wonderful! Enjoy it! If it helps you could envisage yourself as a bit of a rebel taking a stand against the old you with her burnout bound ideas.

    I managed to enjoy two pajama days, well, half day pajama days during the holidays. I had a shower after lunch and finally got dressed on both of those days.

    My profound journey is going well so far. Things are slowly changing and I find I am taking better care of myself. I think my New Year’s Intentions are going to keep me headed in the right direction.

    I have three Goals (and Intentions behind them); 1- Call and talk to friends and family once a week, or more often, this year. ( want to and need to keep in touch with the people that matter to me and this year I intend to do just that. These people matter to me and for far too long I have allowed life to distract me and let it get me too busy doing things instead of connecting with the people I love.) 2- Read 40 books in 2017 keeping track using Goodreads. (I will spend more time doing what I enjoy, which is reading, I want to invest more ME time. I have spent a lot of time doing the do things and lost track of my joy. I want to reclaim that happiness that I had before life got too busy.) 3- One day per week do artwork for either my YouTube channel or my blog (or both).(I will not only get artistic content for both my channel and my blog but I will also spend more time creating art, drawing, painting and so on. It has been too long since I took out my sketchbook and just focussed on my art. Again, I will spend more time doing what I enjoy with the bonus of creating content which I need anyway.)

    So far this year I am getting lots of reading time in. I am reading a book by my favorite author Stephen King called Full Dark No Stars. I have made a couple of phone calls to people I care about and have managed to make three YouTube videos. On the hit list for tomorrow is working on another blog post and more reading plus I think some art time is in order! 🙂

    1. Congratulations, Susan, on two half-day pajama days during the holiday! Every step you take in the direction of better self-care is worthwhile and worth celebrating!

      If you don’t mind me commenting, I REALLY LIKE your intentions and goals for 2017. They are clear, achievable, and obviously indicative of what you want in your life, rather than what you feel you must do. I’m no psychic, but I think I can accurately predict a wonderful year for you as you live your intentions.

      You are so right about the blogging experts and the source of their money. The more time I spent reading their posts, the more clear it became that the bloggers who make a million dollars are the ones who convince the rest of us that we can do the same by taking their expensive courses. It’s all very snake oil and reflecting mirrors, I think.

      Thanks, as always, for your thoughtful comments, Susan.

  2. Happy New Year Karen, I look forward to your blog and enjoyed reading it over the holidays. I agree with you we are where we are suppose to be right now and doing just fine thank you. I haven’t made New Years resolutions for a very long time, not that I don’t feel that renewed sense of a new year, new things. Too many times I set myself up for failure. Since reading your blog, I have had this new idea of setting small goals. Imagine!!! I grew up in a home where life just happened no goals, I have never been one to set goals. This is new and I thank you for that, I am slowly, and gently trying to set goals.
    Over the holidays a friend gave me the 8 Harry Potter DVD’s, the week between Christmas and New Years I watched 7 of them, which was okay it was a holiday, and it felt good.. I wanted so badly to watch the 8th this week and found myself saying it isn’t a holiday, back to normal routine. Yesterday I watched the last one and enjoyed it very much and the world didn’t fall apart.. Once again, we are where we are suppose to be. We are so hard on ourselves, aren’t we, thank you for your honesty on your profound journey..

    1. Welcome to the tribe Donna. So good to see you here in the comments. 🙂 I find myself in pretty much the same position you describe yourself as being in; not making New Year’s resolutions because you set yourself up for failure. That is exactly why I quit making them. Because of this website and Karen’s wise counsel about goals and intentions (here and in the ebook) I too have set just three small, achievable goals for this year.

      Bravo for watching that final Harry Potter DVD! It is amazing what we think will happen if we dare buck the normal routine that keeps us slaves to what is expected of us rather than being kind to ourselves, isn’t it? Thanks for sharing that the world did not fall apart…it encourages the rest of us that we too can do a little self care without dire consequences. 🙂

    2. Thanks so much for your wonderful comment, Donna. I felt my heart sink when I read that you weren’t going to watch the 8th Harry Potter DVD. Then I cheered – yes, out loud – when I read that you went ahead and watched it! I’m very glad. And I’m grateful that you are on this site and a member of the tribe. Happy New Year!

  3. Wow, I wrote a book up there, didn’t I? LOL. Thanks for your encouragement about my goals and intentions. I feel like they do reflect what I want in my life instead of what I must do. That alone is going to make it easier to stick with them. Tell me to do something and I will dig in my heels in opposition…that is a sure way to get me to fight against doing that very thing, These goals are what I want to do anyway so I might as well make them my official goals. 😉

  4. I loved your slippers and little green frog. You manage to find photos that put fun and love into your writing and keep everyone reading. I too took a couple of days in pajamas, although I kept thinking of things I thought I needed to do. I decided tomorrow is another day.

    1. I agree, Ger! In fact sometimes I want to burst into Annie mode, fling my arms wide, and holler “The sun will come out tomorrow.” So glad you took the rest. And thanks for the compliment about the blog. Much appreciated.

  5. Happy New Year Karen. I really enjoyed reading this post this morning, The start of 2017 feels much like a clean slate for me. I am not setting any New Years Resolutions, rather some things that I would like to accomplish this year. Through increased exercise I would like to compete in my first 5 km run with my husband and daughter. We are thinking about doing this in May. I have always enjoyed eating healthy but in the past many months have been drawn to my comfort foods which provide me no nutritional value. Our family has made the commitment to eat a diet full of rich nourishment, as well as trying at least 1-2 new recipes per week. A goal I have set for the entire year is to de-clutter our home and lives!! Each week I would like to have at least one box/bag of “stuff” leaving our home. It could be garbage, or items to donate, but they are no longer needed by us. I love to read and will spend more time doing so, but I don’t have a set goal as to how many books I would like to read – more than I have been able to read in past years will be a joy for me! As for an all day PJ day, other than when ill I have never done this – I will have to try! I will admit though that some nights I have gotten into my PJ’s after work and eaten my dinner that way. Thanks again for your Blog – it is something to look forward to on Thursday mornings.

    1. Happy New Year to you, Mary. Thanks for sharing your goals for this year. We know it makes an enormous difference to have support, especially from family living with you. With your husband and daughter keen to participate in the 5 km run and enjoy a healthy diet, I have no doubt that the Profound Journey tribe will be celebrating your success! Please let us know when the run is due to happen so we can virtually cheer you on!

  6. Hi, Karen – Like the other readers have mentioned, I am so glad that you are taking a kinder and more gentle approach to blogging. You have a very powerful voice, and much inner wisdom to share. To me, that is what is most attractive about your blog.
    I too, LOVE pajamas days. This past Christmas Day, while waiting in line at the drive through at our local Starbucks, I watched a couple rock up in their full furry pajamas and slippers (it was COLD that day), grab their coffees and walk back to their nearby home. That is now on bucket list of things to try for myself.
    I greatly look forward to following your blog further.

    1. Hi Donna,
      Welcome to the tribe! I’m so glad you’re here. And thanks so much for jumping in with a comment and support.
      I love your story about the PJ clad couple on Christmas Day. Following their lead sounds like the perfect addition to anyone’s bucket list.
      Karen

  7. No New Year resolutions for me because I inevitably manage to sabotage myself. Interestingly enough, while driving yesterday someone on one of the news channels said “now don’t forget – if you join a gym as a New Year’s resolution because you’re determined to lose weight or get in shape, just be aware that if you immediately regret it, you have 10 days from the date of signing the contract to rescind it”. Now that is the way New Year resolutions should be. Perhaps next year I’ll think about it – perhaps……..

    1. Hi Anna,
      I think the big problem is the term ‘New Year’s Resolution’. It’s had so much bad press, I vote we get rid of it and just allow ourselves to imagine the intentions (values) we’d like to emphasize in 2017 and the teeny tiny goals that will help us achieve those values.
      Alternatively, saying forget it to all of it, as you are doing, is a perfectly good plan too!

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