(Non) Food For Thought

As the end of the year approaches most of us can’t help but get a little bit reflective. It’s nice to take stock of life and look at what we’ve achieved, where we are and what we have, both materially and spiritually. The new year is a time for optimism, new starts, making plans and for a lot of people (soon to be broken) new years resolutions.

Personally I never make resolutions, if change is needed it needs to be because you want to change not because tradition dictates the need to make a commitment to do something, and in my experience most new years resolutions are made half heartedly at best just because you feel you you should have made some.

I also think January 1st is the worst day to start anything. For a start half the world will wake up with a hangover and I struggle to remember how to put one foot in front of the other if I’ve got a hangover let alone focus on the steps needed for any long term plans and then when you fail before you’ve reached the end of the first day it’s all too easy to shrug things off as a broken resolution and do nothing.

However, that said, January is a good time to evaluate life and look forward to where you want to be in the next twelve months and start to look at ways to get there.

One of my (many) goals for the coming year is to get more organised. Although my job is a Sales role it’s also very admin heavy and the last few months have really highlighted how important it is for me to get effective systems in place to avoid drowning under a sea of admin. With this in mind I’ve been looking at a lot of websites that offer advice on time management and the best ways to utilise technology to work smarter and more efficiently. I’ve also stumbled across a lot of sites that I suppose would come under the self help banner, advice on how to be happy (no I didn’t think I needed that either) with posts that are more thought provoking than practical advice.

I’ve always avoided self help books before, thinking of them as a sign of weakness and the domain of the needy and to some extent I still think that but one of the websites that I came across – Marc and Angel Hack Life has got me thinking. It does have posts that give advice but a lot of them are just lists of questions and I’ve found that by answering some of the questions it’s helped me to get a few things a little clearer in my own mind and in turn set myself more realistic, measurable objectives for the coming year that are more focused and longer term than the usual list – lose weight, drink less, win the lottery etc.

I often find that I end up taking a headless chicken approach to a challenge, I take on too many things at once and rush into all of them at full speed with no real direction and unrealistic expectations of what I will achieve and how long it’s going to take me to do it. Admitting that as a failure is the first step to resolving it and I’ll read, take note and act upon any advice and help I can get to help me overcome that. One of the articles I read recently was called 30 Things To Stop Doing To Yourself. Most of us will read it and deny we do any of the things on the list but if you’re honest with yourself I’m sure, like me, you’re guilty of more than one.

I’m looking forward to the next year. For the first time in a very long time it feels like I’m where I need to be. I’m in a great relationship, I have some amazing friends and I love my job and I’m ready to start to enjoy life. 2012 has some big challenges ahead and I’m sure I’ll stumble as much as I’ll stand and I’m sure that I’ll wake up with a hangover on New Years day but then some things will never change.

Happy New Year.

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