NO... IT'S NOT TOO LATE!
A SIMPLE WAY TO FOCUS YOUR YEAR
Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one.
We are well into the new year. Six weeks in; and for many of us any new year’s resolutions we made have been hastily swept under the rug, out of sight, not to be thought of again until we celebrate the clock striking midnight on the eve of 2018.
Yes, every year, with the best of intentions we promise sweeping life changes which we stick to with great motivation for a few days until the burdens and realities of our lives shift our focus and we find ourselves back in the same old patterns. This was my annual routine for many years, resulting in a life of stagnancy, little growth, and ultimately, bitterness, and a depleting self-esteem.
We have a compulsion with change needing to start with cycles in our calendar – “I’ll start my diet on Monday;” “I’ll start saving from the 1st of the month;” “This year I’ll change career”. And when we fall off the wagon we feel compelled to wait for the commencement of the next cycle to get back on. And, before we know it, weeks, months and years have passed with little change.
The past few years I have managed to make some significant life changes that have had a profound impact on the quality of life that I live as well as the magnitude of my personal growth and development. I did that by changing my approach to new year’s resolutions. Instead of having a list of goals to achieve each year; I decided to have a theme each year. A theme that can impact all areas of my life and serves as the over-riding principle by which I make decisions. The advantage of doing this is that it can have a substantial effect on many areas of my life by only focussing on one motivator. Additionally, because it’s a theme it doesn’t feel so bound to the natural cycles of our calendar. Even if I’m a little inconsistent, the theme still hovers over the decisions I make. This also means, that you can introduce a theme for the year anytime, even six weeks into the new year, without feeling you’ve somehow missed the life-changing cruise that sailed on the 1st of January.
The first year that I introduced a theme was in 2012. My theme was “Balance”. I was aware of how imbalanced my life was with a most of my focus on my professional life at the expense of my personal and social interactions. I had no hobbies; and my conversations always gravitated towards work. So, for most of that year, when I was presented with a decision I analysed it on the basis of how the decision would impact my professional/social/spiritual/interpersonal balance.
In 2013, I didn’t have a theme; so, there was very little personal progress that year. However, because the habit of considering balance with all my decisions had already been established, that remained entrenched; and still does to this day.
2014, was my most devastating year, so my theme was “To be Kind to Myself”. Through that process, I learnt to love myself and to this day self-kindness is a default habit for me.
2015 was an epic year – the year to “Face my Fears”. And, it you’ve read my previous posts you know that this is very much an ongoing theme long beyond 2015.
I didn’t choose a theme for 2016. My theme chose me. 2016 was the year I found my purpose. I figured this out relatively early in the year and then spent the rest of the year figuring out the “how” of living my purpose. The Flying Phoenix blog was born out of my will to live my purpose.
So, what about this year? Well, 2017 is about connection. This is a natural progression of living my purpose. Every project, interest or task that I’m taking on this year is to build interpersonal connections with as many amazing and diverse people as possible.
Well, what about you? Easy, pick a theme… today, tomorrow, … whenever you’re ready. Just don’t wait for next week, next month or next year. Forget about individual goals and find a meaningful principle that can be applied over all aspects of your life; and watch your life change little by little every day; but significantly over the year. Join me, lets change our lives; and through that, change our world.
I am ready!
It’s easier said than done
I was exceptionally fortunate to be in a position of being surrounded by great support when I went through this life-changing journey. Perhaps had I not had that support, things may have turned out differently; and today, I could be bitter, negative, sad and living a life of little meaning. It’s my mission to share what I have learned the hard way, so that you too can find the meaning, fulfillment and joy you deserve.
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A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.
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What are your thoughts?
I would love to hear from you. What has your experience been with this topic? Do you have some tips or strategies in addition to the one’s mentioned above? Maybe you have a burning question? Perhaps you have the solution to someone else’s question.
The best growth and learning comes from engagement and sharing, please comment below and share your thoughts, questions and personal experiences.
Wonderful post. Love the idea of having a theme as a compass for the year to help guide your decisions. Simple, elegant and useful. Thank you. X
Thank you for your kind words, Linda. It means a lot to me to hear that my words resonate. xxx