I have been on vacation the past 4 weeks, so while the year is a couple of weeks old already this subject is front of mind for me today.
In previous years I had deadlines (both external and internal) to complete articles and presentations during the holiday period, not this year. Instead I followed some advice I originally read as a child, but didn’t truly appreciate at the time;
“Work consists of whatever a body is obliged to do, and that Play consists of whatever a body is not obliged to do.”
Mark Twain. “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer”
January is traditionally the month for planning, introducing changes and aspiring to build new habits that we hope will help us improve and progress over the coming year. What is really essential is not simply the aspirations and resolutions, it is equally important to stick with everything you want to change. That means changes to your daily routine and a focus that drives your decisions and actions every day.
I gave up on New Year’s resolutions back in 2010. Like most the resolution didn’t stick. This report from the Washington Post suggests that 25% of you have already abandoned those resolutions and by the end of January that will grow to about 45% of people!
Like all the future aspirations proposed for the discipline last year, we set ourselves up to fail if we cannot change our day to day decisions and actions.
Instead of resolutions and statements of goals – I set up 3 words to act as a daily focus for the year. The background and source is described in this 2015 Post, along with a history of my focus words.
The words don’t have to mean anything to other people, so long as they mean something to you, in a perfect world they convey meanings that relate to multiple aspects of your life.
Here are my focus words for 2018, I will explain more about the meanings in later posts.
Perhaps that last word requires a more immediate explanation!
You may have heard the “Tale of Two Wolves” – which is variously attributed to the Native American Cherokee tribe, evangelist Billy Graham or George Bernard Shaw. However it is attributed it goes something like this;
A grandfather is talking with his grandson and explains that there are two wolves inside of us who are always at war with one another.
One of them, the good wolf which represents things like kindness, bravery and love. The other, the bad wolf represents things like greed, hatred and fear.
The grandson stops and thinks about it for a second then he looks up at his grandfather and asks, “Grandfather, which one wins?”
The grandfather quietly replies, the one you feed.
Which wolf do you plan to feed this year? Growth and change – or repeat another year of the same?
I would love to hear your focus and your 3 words if you want to try the system.