January. A new year full of excitement and anticipation but first of all everyone is trying to get back into a normal routine after all the excesses of the Christmas holidays. It is hard work and it is cold, and some days are dreary and all of them are short of daylight. So not particularly inspirational.
People are full of resolutions: to eat sensibly, to lose weight, to exercise more and and and … Many of these have already hit the buffers. Dry January may sound good in theory but when everything around you is screaming you need comfort is this likely to become reality?
Many of you know that I do not hold with new year resolutions. If you decide to make a change do it today and forget the date! I also think that long term change can be challenging – try it for a day, a week, a month and see how it goes as you embed the new habit. Changing things is hard work and we all need to be totally committed and able to focus.
However, this Thought is not about resolutions I want to suggest that you may not yet have finished with 2018.
We tend to close years very quickly, often very pleased to see the back of them. One of the things I think we can miss is a proper post mortem on the year before we put it to bed. We did lots last year, we changed things, we tried things, we enjoyed things, we made progress. We learnt stuff and maybe we made some mistakes. We did some things really well.
So please take one last look at 2018 and ask yourself these questions and any others that occur to you:
- What did I do that was new and how did it go?
- What did I try and enjoy doing?
- What did I try and will never ever do again?
- What made me feel good?
- What made me feel bad?
- What did I do with others and have fun doing? Have I arranged to do it again?
- What did I succeed in changing? How do I feel? Will it give me confidence to try and change something else?
- Where did I make progress – however tiny the steps?
- Where did I stretch my mind?
- Did I take any risks? And what was the result?
- Which skills did I learn?
- Did I discover a new talent?
- Where was I successful? Do I know why? Could I do it again?
- What did I learn about myself?
- Did I make a new friend? Am I nurturing that person?
- Did I make any mistakes? What did I learn from them?
- Was I kind to myself?
- Was I kind to others?
- Am I a good example to others?
- Where did I grow?
I could go on and on, but you get the idea. The answers are evidence and from all this evidence what are you going to take into 2019?
As I always say, none of it is original but just thinking about it may give you some useful building blocks for 2019. It might help you to file 2018 away as a good year with lots of good memories.
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Life is good; let’s live it to the full, enjoy it and be the best we can be.