So, it’s a new year. 2010. How are you going to boost this last one from a 3 (bad year, glad it’s over) or a 6-7 (fair to middling, time passes) to a new year 10? I’ve been thinking about expectations and timing and wondered whether or not perfection was a realistic goal. After some thought, I’ve decided that with a bit of a review/preview into the year, I’d go for it anyway – and see where it (and my mind) takes me.
Going for Gold
Coming up next month are the Winter Olympics. As a proud Canadian my eyes will be directed to Vancouver. As I’ve written about before, I love the concept of the Olympics. This is a spectacular showcase of determination, focus and skill. Often individuals are there, not for the medal, but to perform their personal best. That is my aim for the year. There is no assurance that a skater might not slip on the ice, that a jump may go not awry, or that a ski might not break. There is no pre-confirmed gold medal around our necks, flashbulbs flashing, thousands cheering… yet there is no reason not to show up. Next month find an Olympian who inspires you, who might be able to teach you a lesson, or who makes you uncomfortable (often these are teachers of lessons as well). You might take some little piece of awareness or motivation that will enhance your 2010.
Take a Step Back to See Your Priorities
Often we write resolutions in a grocery list form – ‘lose a few pounds’, ‘finish project x’, ‘spend better time with the family’ etc. and put it away. If all of you are like me, a grocery list on the kitchen counter is no use at all walking down the aisles of the supermarket. While I realize that we hold all our lists in our mind, there is something in prioritizing and making present your list of goals. What would change (for better or worse) if these individual goals came about? How would you feel? Sometimes looking at resolutions as though they’ve already happened can help you in setting real priorities (maybe finishing project x is less valuable than letting it go and focusing on something else that may be more relevant or meaningful NOW). Our mind can give us a preview or ‘trailer’ of the coming events – when we imagine, we can get a taste for the end results and be better able to prioritise what’s really important for us in the future.
Not Doing it Alone
While there are many stories of the lone hero doing amazing things, I’d hazard a guess that these tend to be the stuff of fairytales more often than of reality. I know that often I have been stymied by my solidarity, when I should have been sourcing the massive amount of talent that seems to surround me. What does that mean in getting your perfect 10 for 2010? Find others to help, to share or to connect with. You don’t have to do it all by yourself. Find a walking partner, make a friendly competition with someone who also wants to write a book, talk with or listen to someone who has an inspiring tale that parallels your goals. I was just reading an inspiring number of thoughts in Seth Godin and friends ebook “What Matters Now” (download it for free at http://sethgodin.typepad.com/files/what-matters-now-2.pdf ) which seemed to take one strong line of thought that followed a community approach, rather than one of the lone wolf. Humans don’t work best in isolation, the mind requires connections to thrive and grow – which includes associative thoughts as well as personal/professional… people associations for success.
Ten in Under Ten
Another comment that seemed to come up in the ebook I talked about before is the concept of slowing down in a world that is seemingly speeding up. The concept of multi-tasking as the best way of working is being challenged. It may mean that checking emails while talking on the phone or having 11 windows open (shame on me) may not help in dealing with the one window of importance. In this instance, I mean that less may be more. Instead of a huge number of items that ‘must’ be done (that will find their way onto list 2011), start with less than five. You may choose to select them from different areas (mind, body, spirit or work, personal, physical health, mental acuity or…) or you might want to align a few that are very similar so that you get really good at something by the end of the year. The mind actually gets a buzz from ticking something off the list – studies have shown this to be true. Completion of something small is the first step in completing something big. The mind loves success (and loves to do it over again). The bonus is if you end up finishing your list, you can make another – from what I understand, there are many cultures who start their year at a different point from January 1, so you could celebrate another beginning then. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step they say…
It’s never too late
While this email didn’t get to you on the first day of the year, it doesn’t mean that it is irrelevant for the remainder. One of my favourite quotes (I know I’ve used it before) is “the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago, the second best time is today.” Believe me, I forget this great piece of advice often. And it’s true that sometimes a delay means a missed opportunity (sometimes ‘limited time offers’ really are that), but often we can recoup and make the most, or even improve on a situation by starting a change from this moment on. Remember, there are many cultures around the world who start their new years at different times, so you can latch on to one of those to begin, or designate your own – February 2nd? April 19th? October 3rd? Any date can be the right one to start in helping your health, happiness and journey towards your goals and dreams. Acknowledge it as your special start date and 365 days later, you’ll be surprised at how much you’ll have accomplished. Today, yes, today, is a very exciting new day and new year for you. Grab it with body, mind and heart.
All the best in the new year,