The shackled Muse makes mention how pointless New Year’s is in her post New year’s resolutions. While commenting on the post though it struck me how motivating those new year’s resolutions can be. Sure we all get a bit cock-eyed and proclaim from the stage of New Year our lovely intentions, much like Miss Universe rambling on about world peace, but in those few moments as we rattle off our goals we’re energised. Our misguided resolve to magically become better people, tomorrow, invigorates us and stirs us into action, well almost.
New Year’s Resolve
That big fat wad of New Year’s resolve is what gets us all fired up. The reality of 12 months spent like a little old lady with a large bowl full of coins at a casino, pulling every one armed bandit in hopes of some luck dawns on us. Oh the shame and horror, 12 months wasted and how many more years do we really have, who know. Oh the horror. That’s when lights go on! We need to sweep the cobwebs clear. Start exercising quit smoking stop and buying our tools to catch the roadrunner from acme. In the cold dark shadow of a whole year’s inaction our options are simple, collapse in a snivelling heap or start planning to make it better.
This is the bit of the New Year’s resolution we need to tap into. The reflection and the refocusing on the good stuff. The meat and potatoes of our life. Now imagine if we did that every morning. Looked back on the day before and said oh crap, I can’t do that again.
All is quiet on New year’s day
So it’s new years day we stare into the mirror at our hangover ravaged face and you know what? I’m off work today and I don’t really have any work to do tomorrow. So I’m livin’ la vida loca . Yes, and we’re off to the races extending New Year’s eve to New Year’s day. I’ll start eating better tomorrow. I’ll quit smoking tomorrow.
The day after New years comes and we’re still wasted from our jelly shot drinking heroics the day before. We’re back to work and we feel like death, but dammit we will do what we resolved… tomorrow.
The day after the day after New Year’s
The problem you see is not New year’s resolutions, it’s the day after the day after New Year’s. Whenever we’re living “out there” in tomorrow or the in the day after we’re in deep trouble.
The key then for a great 2010 is to bottle that New Year’s resolve:
- Decide that the first step to achieving your resolution is right now!
- Right now write down your resolutions
- Now write down the reasons behind your resolutions eg. if you want to lose weight, why do you want to? To feel better about your self? To increase the quality of your life? Only you can answer These questions. Review the reasons often. They tend to change and you’ll tend to lose site of them.
- Set a SMART goal – Take your time now, and set a Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time driven goal for your proposed resolutions
- Keep these goals in 2 places, Next to your bed so you can review them daily in the morning and night and in your time management system. Whether you use a traditional diary or a tool like outlook leave a note in your diary or a daily task in Outlook to review your goals and the reasons they are important to you.
- Spending a minute in the morning, afternoon and night on reviewing your goals you’ll be immediately more in touch with them and will start feeling the energy of New Years spilling over from day to day. Three minutes a day is equal to 18.25 hours, so you’ll be spending bout one day, less sleep, on your goals not a bad deal, for achieving the stuff most important to you in 2010
So let’s all ditch our to-do lists and our to-don’t lists for 2010 and let’s begin focusing on keeping that New Year’s feeling all year long.
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Heading into the end of the year I’m tempted to take stock of my failures in 2009 and start waving my finger at myself for all the things I’ve let slip during the year. All the failures punctuating the months from January to now. I’m reminded of all the doe-eyed dreams I had 12 months ago, and all the many goals I set myself at the beginning of the year. All those failures. I can’t help but smile. The year is however come and gone, no matter how long I wag my finger no matter how down I get this is the present I have inherited from myself, failures and all. In many respects 2009 has been, as my footballing friends would say, a rebuilding year for me. I’ve taken stock of myself and realized a number of things that I possibly wasn’t ready to last year or the year before. Where I am, that is where you’ll find me.
I think I’m going to tattoo that on my forehead this new year. I love the fact that I’ve reached a place in my life where my failures no longer define me. I am free of failure let the success roll in.
- Einstein was 4 years old before he could speak.
- Iassc Newton did poorly in grade school and was considered “unpromising.”
- When Thomas Edison was a youngster, his teacher told him he was too stupid to learn anything. He was counseled to go into a field where he might succeed by virtue of his pleasant personality.
- F.W. Woolworth got a job in a dry goods store when he was 21, but his boss would not permit him to wait on customers because he “didn’t have enough sense to close a sale.”
- Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team.
- Bob Cousy suffered the same fate, but he too is a Hall of Famer.
- A newspaper editor fired Walt Disney because he “lacked imagination and had no original ideas.”
- Winston Churchill failed the 6th grade and had to repeat it because he did not complete the tests that were required for promotion.
- Babe Ruth struck out 1,300 times, a major league record.
Failure is an event, never a person. ~William D. Brown, Welcome Stress!
I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. ~Thomas Edison
Try again. Fail again. Fail better. ~Samuel Beckett
One fails forward toward success. ~Charles F. Kettering
A man may fall many times, but he won’t be a failure until he says that someone pushed him. ~Elmer G. Letterman
A failure is a man who has blundered, but is not able to cash in the experience. ~Elbert Hubbard
There is much to be said for failure. It is more interesting than success. ~Max Beerbohm,
Mainly on the Air, 1946
The men who try to do something and fail are infinitely better than those who try to do nothing and succeed. ~Lloyd Jones
If you’re doing your best, you won’t have any time to worry about failure. ~Quoted in P.S. I Love You, compiled by H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
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In the course of our days we all feel our stress levels and the need to reduce our stress levels. We feel the stress levels when in the quiet moments our heart rates remind us of the disquiet in our body. We feel the stress levels when we overreact to the annoyances of everyday life. We feel it when, beaten into submission by our stress levels, we under react to the annoyances of everyday life and allow them to over run the the serenity of our bodies. Every day we face more and more decisions, decisions of consequence, that have an impact on our own lives and the lives of others. How then do we reduce the negative stress associated with these big decisions? at the risk of sounding flippant, we simply do. Stress is our body telling us to take action, and action destroys stress as quickly as it bubbles up. Inaction becomes the fuel for negative stress, eating at your health and mental well being.
Release control, accept your situation and reduce your stress levels
Yes release control accept your situation and reduce your stress levels. That’s all you need to do. The release of control is central to overcoming and reducing stress. We cannot control what enters our lives only what we do about it. Statements like “Why me?”, “Not me again!” and “I have the worst luck!” are unconscious signposts that your mind is not accepting Now. We are often overcome by the need to find meaning behind random events. When bad things happen, the only logical action is to release yourself from trying to control the situation. What has happened has happened. Whether it could be avoided or not. Whether you believe in fate or not. This is the only reality which you are now faced with. Looking back into the past is an attempt to apportion blame. It is your controlling self avoiding the action at hand and working to try and apportion the blame. Looking to the future to control the situation if it rears it’s ugly head again. We must become proactive and learn from our mistakes. However when we do so at the expense of the real action at hand. The one which must be done to take the current project forward we set ourselves up for increased stress levels. Our controlling selves won’t allow us to release control and acknowldedge the reality of our current situation. Our inability to release control overwhelms us while the real work of doing suffers.
Accept your situation
Release control accept your situation and reduce your stress levels. To accept your situation is the real secret to enlightenment which will banish stress from your life forever. Once we have allowed ourselves to release control of the situations in our lives. We automatically accept the situations of our life. When we release ourselves from the past and future and our controlling self’s attachment to negative situations, you are automatically, almost magically forced to accept your situation. When accepting our situation becomes the default response to the stressors in our life, our feelings of stress disappear. Yes, the negativity of stress disappears from your life. To accept your situation and take action becomes the instantaneous response and our emotional plate is free to accept positive gifts. Take a second now and think about how many of the stress feelings you have are as a result of rejecting your current situation. If you stopped the back and forth within yourself and started aiming directly at the reality of today, of Now, how much less would you have to worry about? The past stretches back for centuries and the future into infinity, free yourself from worrying about these beasts and focus on now.
Reduce stress levels
This is the organic part of the lesson, when you release control and accept your situation you automatically reduce stress levels in your life. When looking at your current mental state it’s important to realize we cannot act on stress, only on the cause. We cannot act on stressors only on ourselves and the way we deal with the stressors in our lives. This is the only way to reduce stress
Reduce stress for more life
I am no master of these lessons and treat every day as an opportunity to become less ignorant and less arrogant. On good days I fail as often as I succeed. I cannot control the universe, however I can control my experience of it. I can do that when I choose to learn from my existence and thrive because of my failures not in spite of them. I control my experience of my life when I work toward my goals and dreams for this existence in the clear light of the present rather than the blurry past and ethers of the future, made up of many todays. I control my experience of this universe when I sit down to this blog and share my experience of my universe.
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