2012….Meh

Image by Rachael Towne

Image by Rachael Towne
The Mayans said the world was going to end in 2012. What did they know? I don’t know and I really don’t care. Call me the Ebenezer Scrooge of the New Year. Except instead of “Bah-humbug!” I say, “Meh”.  As in, who knows if that ancient civilization was right? Who knows if it will happen at all? What can we do about it?

I have an answer for that: Absolutely nothing.

There isn’t a thing we can do if the world is going to stop for humanity. If a dinosaur killing meteorite comes plummeting to our planet or if Aliens decide to go postal on us or if Mother Nature decides it has had enough and we suffer through another dark age. The fact is there just isn’t a thing we can do about it. So why worry?

Go about your business. Pursue the work that makes your heart sing. Let the people you care about know it.  Take the time to look up and see the beauty around you. Appreciate the wonder that is life. Smell those roses and all that jazz. In other words, live your life like you do every year but maybe with a little more kindness.

January 2010: You Are Still You

 

“Cheers to a New Year and another chance for us to get things right” ~Oprah Winfrey


With a new year comes the feeling of a fresh start. Which seems especially exciting if the previous year was less than stellar. I know some folks who could not wait to shake off 2009 like unwanted mud on the bottom of their shoes. Others were sad to see it go, but looking forward to what 2010 has in store. You can count me in with the latter group.

 

Good in = Good out

Regardless of which group we fit into, we still look at a new year as a chance to “get things right”. I refuse to look at 2010 as a way to fix real or perceived wrongs. I prefer to look at the glass half-full and tend not waste time worrying about things I cannot change.  It seems to me that we as humans are bound to do things that work well for us as well as things that do not work out well. The best thing we can do is applaud our successes and make a concerted effort to modify the behavior and decision making that was not successful.

Seems simple enough, right?

Do more of the things that are good for us and less of the things that are not good for us. By doing those two simple things our life should be golden. Sure, except for the fact that we are human and not robotic in nature. There will be circumstances good and not so good that will affect our decision making. Which over the long haul will once again result in some folks shaking off 2010 and looking forward to 2011 and so on.

So what is a human to do?

To begin with recognizing that we are human and will make good and bad decisions is key. Just because the calendar has changed doesn’t necessarily mean that our world has changed. We still live in the same place. We still have the same friends and business associates. We still have the same food in the fridge. Our health and physical fitness levels are still the same at 12:01am on January 1, 2010 they were at 11:59 on December 31, 2009.

 

Hope springs eternal

Let me reassure you this is not a doom and gloom post. Quite the contrary, this is a post of hope. Here are a few things that can help make far-fetched resolutions and goals obtainable:

•  First of all, be kind to yourself. The list of resolutions and goals you have made are wonderful. In a perfect world we would all be able to check them off in a manner so efficiently we would be the envy of everyone we know. In our imperfect world we’ll be lucky if our resolutions last through the month.

•  Second figure out what exactly constitutes success for you. Sure we all want to loose weight, but we could modify this by instead stating, “I will walk for 30 minutes 3 days a week and eat salad for lunch 2 times a week.” Stating this as a goal seems more manageable and certainly healthier for us in the long run.

Walking for a few days a week and a slight modification in a couple of meals doesn’t seem like a huge change, but I will bet that after 30 days of doing this you’ll feel a difference. Maybe not in pounds lost, but in energy gained. Plus isn’t a fitter more energetic version of ourselves something we would all like to see?

•  Third, take people on your journey with you. It may be a surprise to you that there are other folks who also want to lose weight or become more organized or ______________ (insert your goal here). Making a change with others is like having a helping hand. Being part of a group dynamic means that not only are we in this together but we have one another to lean on when the going gets difficult. We can rejoice in the success and encourage one another through the challenges.

 

Slow and steady wins the race” – Tortoise from The Tortoise and the Hare


One Step At A Time

My goals for this year revolve around organization, fitness, faith and family. The fastest road to failure would be for me make an extreme change and attack these goals all at once. Since I have always been a fan of the Tortoise method of thought, I have opted to slowly add the steps that will help me accomplish goals. By making small changes that will over the course of time lead me to make a lasting change.

I would love to hear the things you have done successfully or maybe not so successfully.  What are some of the small steps you are taking to make those resolutions turn into a lasting change?


image by Milo Winter

 

Beginnings and Ends: Saying Goodbye to 2008 and Hello to 2009

2009As the end of 2008 approached, the onslaught of list posts increased”

“The Top 10 …”

“The Things I Learned in 2008”

And so on. Which then led to the inevitable list posts for 2009 predictions:

“How to Make 2009 the Best Year Ever”

“The 5 Things You Can Do to Start the Year Off Right”

and let’s not forget, “New Year’s Resolutions for 2009”

It’s enough to make your head spin. What is it with the need to recap a year and then immediately start off with a list of things you want to “do better” in the next? Sure we want to use the end of a year to look back and review what did and did not work. Pat ourselves on the back for our successes and shake our head for the failures. After all if we don’t know our own history aren’t we doomed to repeat it? The successes we don’t mind repeating. It’s the failures we’d like to avoid in the future.

I was chatting with my sister recently who shared this observation, “Everyone has a better beginning of the year than they do an end of the year.”

“Really, is that true? If so, why is that the case?” was my puzzled response.

“People start the year full of hope and optimism. They’re excited and ready to make things happen or change, but as the year progresses they get bogged down and lose their energy” she elaborated.

This got me thinking about beginnings and endings. If we are energized by the beginning and not so energized at the end, then why not adjust our perception of beginning and endings? What makes the beginning of a year any different than the beginning of a month, a day or an hour?

Of course it’s the frequency that makes the difference. Every hour is too often. Every day is too mundane. Every month blends into the next. It’s the changing of the year that strikes a cord within us. Having to kiss goodbye to 2008 and say hello to 2009 gives us time to pause in the busyness of our lives. Time to reflect on what has been and plan for what, we hope, will be.

Image by: Brewing Media