Realign, readjust, recover
As we get ready to leave another year behind, if you ask what my biggest letdown is it would be not reaching my goal of reading 52 books in 2018.
Following another disappointing year where I had aimed for 100 books and read just 28, at the start of the year I decided to lower my expectations and the bar I set for my intellectual aspirations at a realistic 52.
As far as I was concerned a book a week was reasonable, an even more an achievable target.
Turns out it was not so – with some trickery of galloping through some short poetry and mindfulness books I barely made it to 30 books as of today.
With three days till the new year I am doubtful I can make it beyond 32. Which my Goodreads app tells me is xx% of my reading goal.
On the plus side, in a bid to get back into work mindset after three weeks away from the office I began the week waking up at 7.30 which is a big feat in Turkey where I currently am when the sunrise is not till 8.15 and walking on the coastal path for an hour daily.
After all, with return back to work and adulthood scheduled for 2 January, long lie ins are a thing of December and if I don’t get back into the routine of early morning and daily exercise the start to the year will be a shock to the system.
And after the pounds piled after spending the holidays eating and pounds missing from your wallet after spending most of December’s salary on presents and post-Christmas sales, one really does not need another shock.
This made me thing of New Year’s resolutions. I’m not one for making any. And most of the life-shaping decisions in my life were made outside of the festive time bracket.
I gave up fizzy drinks over summer two years ago, I began eating healthy on a random February day some years ago and I began a much dreaded and hence delayed diet to get back to my ideal weight last June.
So New Year’s doesn’t really hold much weight for my decision making – if you’ll excuse the pun.
Having said that I believe the end of a year is the perfect time evaluate what’s gone by and think of what you can change to make what’s to come better.
What made you say, “I should have,” or “I could have” and how you can change these into “Glad I did”, “grateful that I have” – what can you change to turn regret into gratitude?
What would you have done more of had you had the time? What habits would you have liked to cultivate more, and which ones should you have kicked to the curb? What caused you heartache in the last year? What weighed you down?
New Year’s shouldn’t be a time to pressure yourself into hasty decisions made in a place of distress or discomfort but a time to take a long, hard, honest look at the year gone by to evaluate it warts and all, and start making your list of what you can realistically change.
Then leave that list in a drawer and take it back out in a week or two so you can pick one to work through, then another, then should you wish, a third. Without the weight of resolutions one feels obliged to commit to immediately.
New Year’s should be an opportunity to realign the course, readjust the sails and recover the mission.
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