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.
Today I thought I’d keep it light and casual as we all slow down into the holidays. Last year this time I created the image, you see below from free stock and then got it printed and framed as a gift for a good friend of mine who was starting a new business. If by Rudyard Kipling despite it’s apparent male bias is for me a great place to start looking at your personal development journey. I was going to go through the poem in a bit of detail and give my thoughts on it, but reading it again now, I think the poem speaks volumes without my prattling.
So enjoy and feel free to leave a comment if any part of this resonates with you.
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;
If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build ‘em up with wornout tools;
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on”;
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man my son!
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