it’s that time of year again, isn’t it? The time of year when we hold a glass in our hands to toast the new year and a head full of things we say we will do, No Matter What.
But unless you’re one of the few people who acts on New Year Resolutions I want you to try something simple: Ditch resolutions. Forget them.
Instead, I’d like you to just do something different, rather than make promises and plans you won’t keep.
Let me give you an illustration:
Earlier on today I was teaching my youngest daughter to ride a bicycle. I can’t remember learning to ride but I know I learnt before I went to school. And I love being on two wheels. I find it instinctive. My youngest daughter didn’t.
I watched as she wobbled, part screaming with excitement and part with fear, as I helped her move forward. She was so desperate to ride her bike that she was thinking too hard. Her arms, outstretched, tried in vain to push the bike in the right direction.
“Look where you want to go”, I told her. “Don’t think about riding. Think about where you want to go”.
It worked. Within ten minutes, she had gone from tentative wobble to confident laps of the field.
So what does my daughter learning to ride her bicycle have to do with new years resolutions?
The act of doing something.
Thinking about a resolution is great. Everyone needs to think about their actions. But thinking too much is just as dangerous as not thinking at all. So is giving in to prejudice, fear or ignorance.
July this year marks the 10 year anniversary of a change I made to my life. It’s a change I’m glad I made. I could have procrastinated. Instead, I listened to my heart and it was one of my best decisions in 31 years on this planet.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m just as bad as everyone else at procrastinating. My weight? Higher than it should be. Have I procrastinated about losing some? You bet.
Working less? Yes, I’ve thought about that too. But In the past few weeks I’ve learnt to play. To have fun, for myself and not feel guilty about it. Becoming a mom seems to have helped me realise that sometimes I just need some time for myself.
I’ve also realised that my actions have consequences. I’m no-longer one half of a DINKY household. I have to feed, clothe, bathe and entertain two georgeous children. It’s scary and wonderful. You would think that being a mom has made me more cautious. No. It’s made me appreciate life even more.
So if you have a change you’ve been meaning to do then go ahead: Make the difference. Live the change.
It could be using less power, eating more healthily or even just spending more time walking your dog. The biggest changes often come from the simplest of ideas.
By all means, think long and hard about what you’re going to do in 2011. But once you’re done with the thinking DO IT.