The start of the new year is a time for reflection, renewal – and stress-inducing “resolutions”. The word resolution telegraphs its own imminent failure, because anything undertaken with our special North American brand of grim determination is, in my world anyway, destined to run out of steam pretty quickly. It’s just not — fun!
Our well-meaning resolutions can cause stress for a number of reasons: First, they’re often fueled by someone else’s agenda (what we feel we “should” do); Second, because they’re too extreme, we rarely get to the finish line, which is discouraging. And they’re rarely specific enough: What does “get my finances in order” really mean?
So, from overweight, we’re going straight to svelte, and in one month; or from financial chaos we’re going to emerge as the new Donald Trump though we’ve never even succeeded at a personal budget. The idea of small, identifiable and incremental changes is lost and nothing but a complete overhaul will do. In a word, we’re impatient. It’s the magic-bullet paradigm.
So I’d like to suggest a reframing. Instead of five-year plans and vague resolutions, let’s simply start to pay attention to an area where we’d like to see change and let a daily strategy for improvement emerge.
For example, I spend far too much time online on social media sites, which then lure me into the big wide web, eating up my available time with negative results for my projects… So I found an app on the Chrome web store that allows me to block distracting sites for lengths of time that I set. I’m eager to make this change, which is relatively small and achievable, and specific enough that I can measure, if I need to. I don’t need a hard goal, I just need to experience a shift in the balance and develop some self-control around the issue.
If you’re an overspender, observe during the course of your day where you overspend and downsize your purchase on the spot (No Frills vs. Loblaws! I tend to overspend mainly on food), or forego the purchase entirely. Ask yourself, “Do I really need this?” Find the data on your problem before you decide what to do and on what scale.
Let your changes be small steps, and let them be dynamic and in real time, so that the next step makes itself known to you, in the moment. You don’t always need to figure it out. It can just flow.~
Speaking of in-the-moment, next winter’s day when you’re feeling run-down, disconnected or just downright bollocks-freezing cold, consider shooting me a text. There’s always some time available for a self-indulgent bodywork session in my tranquil and private space. Take advantage of the discounts available via my Priority Client plan. And Hot Stone Massage might just sound appealing when the weather’s at -16C. What do you think?