Thursday, 1 January 2015

New Year, New Start

Happy New Year! 

I have the sort of brain that likes tidy numbers and tidy dates, so can never resist thinking of a new year as an opportunity for a new start. Often I set myself up with a list of New Year Resolutions which I then proceed to ignore. Probably coming up with the list is the important thing as it gives me an opportunity to take stock of where I am and what I would like to change. This year I have a single thought and a single "resolution". 

The thought is that I start 2015 in a much better place than I started 2014. A year ago I was in the eye of a stressful storm: an old and dear friend had recently died, far too young; things were going on in my extended family which caused a lot of pain and heartache; and restructuring at work had turned into a long-running nightmare. Not all the problems have resolved, but things have improved in a number of ways and I have got much better at dealing with the residual messes. A couple of months ago I noticed that for the first time in a long while my shoulders felt relaxed - funny how sometimes you only notice tension when it disappears. I am going into 2015 feeling positive and looking forward to the new year, which is a good place to be. As a naturally positive, glass-two-thirds-full person that is my default setting, and it is wonderful to feel back to my normal self. 

The resolution is simply to make better use of my time. I want to be more intentional about what I do and to stop frittering away too many hours on mindless iPad puttering (yes Facebook, I'm looking at you!), leaving myself feeling guilty about the things I should have done but haven't and regretting that I haven't made time for the things I truly enjoy. I am never very good at translating good intentions into actions. My lack of self-discipline means I need some sort of plan or method to have any chance of keeping myself on track. I also know from experience that my best chance of success is to keep it simple. In the course of writing this post I had an "Aha!" moment and think I may have hit on my plan! I half-remembered reading something recently about the Rule of 3. I found the link to the article, read through it, and think this is exactly what I need. The idea is to manage your time by nailing down: 

     * 3 outcomes for the day
     * 3 outcomes for the week
     * 3 outcomes for the month
     * 3 outcomes for the year

Sounds simple enough! Pin down what I am aiming for and then gradually break it down into smaller, manageable steps - what do I need to do today to make progress towards where I want to be at the end of the year? Now I need to put my thinking cap on and decide what my outcomes should be.

And finally ... best wishes for 2015 to everyone reading this. I hope it will be a good year for you all. 

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