With the holiday hoopla – that probably started before Halloween – now safely behind us, we are all now left with what to do with the rest of the year. Yes, I know that individual years do run one into the next, just as birthdays do, but I also know we all tend to confer more importance to some dates, or blocks of time, than others.
No, I am not immune – I will admit that I will likely feel differently about myself the day I turn 80, should I be around for that, than I did the day before when I was “only” 79. In my own irrational and emotional illogic, 80 signifies “old” while 79 is still “young(er).”
That confession acknowledged, I would like to add that what we find ourselves doing today may not be much different than what we were doing on a Sunday in September. It may be no different at all.
January 1st may not have conferred any magic changes on us – at least none that are apt to survive until February.
If you and I want to make changes in our lives, then it is useful to look at the research into change. That research, roughly described, says that we become aware that change might be a good idea; we research how we might make that change; we take action to institute the change; we learn how to maintain the change.
Notice that there isn’t any research to suggest that any specific time or method is “the only way.” Particularly with regard to self-medicating, this is an important footnote. This is especially true for you, our readers, former and current clients, and perspective clients as well.
The best I can offer when it comes to ending life diminishing habits is that “now” is a better time than “later,” though “later” trumps “never,” which is, too often, what later turns into.
If you want next September to differ from last September, and next year’s holidays to be an improvement over those just passed, than there is only one route to making that wish a reality: PLAN!
Whether you call it a plan, or structure, or schedule, it all comes down to the same thing: getting things done takes a certain self-discipline.
No, I am no better at that, most likely, than you are, but I may have gotten just a touch better at manipulating myself than you have, though I remain miserably unself-disciplined in all too many areas.
I write. Not just Newsletters and website copy. Also memoirs, a mystery, a young adult novel, a romance novel, essays, and so on. Some published, some languishing for years unfinished.
Unhappy about this state of affairs, I read up on other “successful” writers’ habits. Stephen King writes for 3 hours every morning, 365 days a year. Dean Koontz writes 10 hours a day 365 days a year.
I’d be extremely pleased with myself if I could manage the 3 hours a day, 5 days a week.
I do not envy Mr. Koontz who I suspect needs to get a life.
I have the change defined: finish the damn manuscripts! I’ve done the research. I’ve formulated a workable structure for me: 3 hours a day, 5 days a week.
Will I manage to institute and maintain the change?
I guess we’ll see come September.
Now it’s your turn.