It’s not just because of the lie-in, or the all day pyjama fashion, or playing on the Wii, or watching good films on TV, or even pigging out on chocolote – although all of that is good too.
No, the main reason I love New Year’s Day is this – it has a great sense of clean, fresh start about it. Somehow the start of a new calendar year makes us realise that we can start something, something we’ve put off, something that’s important to us. We can wipe the slate clean, we can change something, we can find the energy to turn things around.
I don’t believe in “New Year’s resolutions” though. They tend to become a threat and a slow or fast journey to failure (as we somehow know – or have decided – that most resolutions fail).They could work though – if we called them something different and if we used them differently – as a great possibility, as an encouragement. Although this is not about resolutions….let’s get back to the magic of New Year’s Day.
You could argue that the problem with all other days is that it’s not New Year’s Day – that we don’t have that same sense of hope and opportunity that 1 January brings.
So I say, let’s make every day New Year’s Day! Every day is a fresh, clean start. It’s never too late or too early to act on our dreams, our aspirations, our interests.
Take this day with you throughout the year. Make every day New Year’s Day – keep the clear outlook, the hope and the drive. Learn from yesterday, take from it what you can, learnings, insights – and move forward with curiosity and joy. Anything can happen. What do you want to happen? And how will you make it happen?
I will start by treating myself to a leisurely day, full of joy and relaxation, and opportunities to recharge. If there is anything I will start this New Year’s Day with, it’s the continuous learning that to achieve anything, you need to take time to take care of yourself. Just like they say about the oxygen masks on planes – “before helping anyone else, please secure your own mask”. So true, so true – whatever we want to achieve, for others, for the world, for ourselves – we need to look after the instrument that is us, so that we have something to give. So it’s oxygen mask on for me. Go ahead, you do it too:-)
You have a choice. Now, today, tomorrow and all the days to follow.
A choice of
- how to spend the day
- how to feel
- how to think
- how to approach and treat other people
- how your day will be
- how you will act
- how you will react
- how you will do generally
- how others will percieve you
- AND PRETTY MUCH EVERYHING ELSE
Your’re not a victim.
Not of the weather.
Not of other people.
Not of circumstances around you.
You choose. Take that control over your life. And then you can choose the quality of life that you desire. As a result your situation is not in the hands of other people or circumstances.
Don’t give your power away. Lead yourself. Live without regrets or accusations. Take responsibility for your situation. Choose joy and gratitude.
All we have is here and now after all. And it’s only really the here and now that we can take control over.
As Viktor Frankl (Austrian psychiatrist, concentration camp survivor and author of “Man’s search for meaning”) so wisely said:
“The one thing you can’t take away from me is the way I choose to respond to what you do to me. The last of one’s freedoms is to choose ones attitude in any given circumstance.”
So make your choice. Are you ready? Will you choose a good or a bad day?
It’s your choice, nobody else’s. You choose the quality of all aspects of your life. Pretty cool, hey!
Oh, I know, it’s the classic question! A little tired and a bit of a cliché, you may think. But oh, so relevant.
One of the greatest traits of a good leader is being optimistic, which in my view is even better than being positive, because OPTIMISTIC contains the ingredient of HOPE. With optimism you see possibilities, you recognise what you have, you find solutions. And when you see the glass as half full, you are encouraged to go on, you feel stronger, you know that nothing is impossible (it might just take longer!).
So let that glass be at least half full. Or make a real statement – make it full!
My adventure in South East Europe is over. There was a solution – of course.
After five days in Istanbul, we travelled by coach to Vienna, staying in Sofia on the way. And I was lucky to spend time with a great group of people who kept spirits high and made the most of the situation – most inspiring.
And then finally, from Vienna I was able to fly home. I don’t think it’s ever felt so good to get home!
I don’t take things for granted, or at least I try not to. Because “normality” (everything that you have and that happens on a regular basis) we tend to take for granted. It’s human nature, we all do it.
And when you don’t have it for a while, when you don’t know when or how you will get home, you appreciate it all the more.
So I’m making a note of what I am thankful for – my husband, my children, my family and friends, my health, my home, my garden (even though it needs a lot of work!) – yes, all the obvious things. But also little things like my bed, making my Nespresso in the morning, my Birkenstock, my walk to the station to get to work, cooking dinner, reading the morning paper, and much more.
And I am reminded of how much I have to be thankful and happy for. And how it SO outweighs any problems, concerns and worries.
What are you thankful for? And how can reminding yourself of this make you create the kind of day and future you want to have?
We create what we focus on – where are you putting your focus today?
OK, for all you non-Swedish people out there, please humour me on this one….
I’m a big fan of a comedy act called “After Shave and Galenskaparna”, and years ago they had a sort of hit with this song “Det ska va gött att leva, annars kan det kvitta”. It’s all about how life is supposed to be good and enjoyable. And I love the spirit of this song – of course it should be good, easy, fun to live, to go to work and everything else. Who says it can’t be like that!
I so often hear people say that life is tough, that we should be prepared for that. I SAY NO! If I think life is going to be tough, of course it will be tough. Because what I expect, I will then (mainly subconsciously) start looking for.
I’m not stupid though. I know as well as the next person that things aren’t always easy, that we meet tough challenges, disappointments and sorrows – I’ve had my fair share.
But I’m also more and more aware, on a daily basis, that we can impact our own situation – we can choose to have it good, to have fun, and thereby have it better and have more fun! It’s entirely down to our attitude. And you can choose your attitude.
You can choose to have more fun. Just look at your job. Most of us spend around 7-8 hours a day at work. Sometimes it’s fun, sometimes it’s not. We may get annoyed with people, circumstances and tasks.
BUT YOU ARE NOT AT THE MERCY OF CIRCUMSTANCES.
It is possible to choose to have fun, regardless of the circumstances. It all comes down to what you focus on. Before you go to work, think about how you want to feel while at work, how you want to feel about the people you meet at work – and remind yourself what it’s like to feel those feelings – tap into them. Really feel them.
And then when you get to work, focus on what it feels like when you are having fun – straighten your back, smile, laugh – and you can start to notice how it actually feels better. And how positively others respond when you are happy and constructive.
And if you’re doing something you find boring, tell yourself “I may as well do it with a smile”. Because you always have a choice of doing it the hard way or the easy way – why not make it easy? You’re worth it.
Don’t take things so seriously. We usually do our best work with a clear, easy mind, so try to take setbacks with a pinch of salt. Ask yourself how you can benefit from what’s happened, try to see things from a different perspective.
AND BANISH THE WORDS “FAILURE” AND “MISTAKE” FROM YOUR VOCABULARY. Try this instead – “there are no failures, only results”. Because it all comes down to how you CHOOSE to look at things.
And there may even be something to laugh about. Make sure you find something to laugh about every day! And discover how different everything feels:-)