Hi Thinking Mechanicians - it's a new year! Well, it was - in January. It has fast forward to February already. The usual bombardment of emails and blog posts we see in January with the titles "Get your goals set for 2018" and "how to stick to your new year's resolutions" seem to have all dissipated leaving you in February looking at your goals list or "the new me in 2018" list thinking - wow - when am I ever go to get to do all that?? Will I ever do it???? This is, of course, assuming you have one of these list in the first place.
The photo on this blog post is of a beautiful Jacaranda. A tree that blossoms into a purple ocean of beautiful flowers. It's bountiful and full of colour. All the trees sprout their flowers all at the same time. It really is a spectacular time of year. Before long the purple ocean dissipates and the bare branches are once again exposed ready for next year's crop of new purple flowers for the cycle to begin all over again. Looking at the Jacaranda it doesn't take much to run a parallel of the tree's blossoming purple flowers to how we act and behave around a new year. Our resolution "flowers" sprout and they are vivid and beautiful. In fact - all around us there is talk of new year resolutions. We return to our work with our colleagues exclaiming "this year I am going to ........" We are in an ocean of resolutions, sprouting everywhere around us. Then, before long, the blossoming resolutions seems to dissipate. Before we know it - it has all returned to what it look like before - waiting for next years crop of new resolution "flowers" to blossom - and then, all too inevitably - fade away again.
It doesn't have to be that way though.
Like nearly all things in our life - a resolution starts from the bedrock of our lives, our thoughts. They are the catalyst and instigators of everything we experience. There is more to the anatomy of a "resolution" and this is discussed by many of our modern day great thinkers. We won't go into it in this post. Instead, lets focus one idea. That idea is the way and what we think about in a new year can be the way the think every-day-of-the-week. It is completely in our control to do that. It's the simple reality that a new year is a point in time that allows us to reflect on what has been to then work out what could be. It allows us to start "new" using the Jan 1st time stamp as our metaphorical starting gun. The question arises however - why is January 1st any different to any other day we experience throughout the year? Its not, it is a day like any other.
At Thinking Mechanics we are all about transforming to become the best version of ourselves. It is being what we believe we were born to do. This is not something that can be achieved in a once-a-year habit starting Jan 1. It is a process - something that happens all year round. Instead of being a Jacaranda - we are an evergreen - not using a moment in time to "resolve" to change but changing all-the-time.
How? How can we motivate ourselves to be this way? Well, that is the million dollar question. At Thinking Mechanics we experiment and try new ways of living our lives so we can one day be an example to others who want to embark on a similar journey.
One of the "tools" we have come across is a simple exercise entitled "what is important to me?". We realized in our own life we spend quite a bit of time planning what we buy in our weekly food shop, how we will spend the weekend, even, what we buy for snacks at the cinema but do not necessarily apply the same thinking and time to what we, in our lives, treat as important. What do we value? If I were to have a list of my life's "not negotiable" - what would be on it?
We have included a link to a document (here) that has a list of question on it to help start your thinking. We have found this exercise to be important from a few perspectives;
1. To continue the tree analogy - this is a "evergreen list". It's not just for starting in January 1st - it provides you a list of items that are important for you - all year round.
2. These are not ncessarily goals - but instead statements to yourself of what you want to be - what you are.
3. It jolts you into a way of thinking to really understand who you are, what you value and how you want to live your life.
New year resolutions are great but at Thinking Mechanics we are all about activiting ongoing change in our lives. Our list of "what is important to me?" gives us an opportunity each time we read it to remember who were are, what we want so we can spend the time on focusing to achieve it - which we do every day we wake up.
We hope this has been of some help - please - let us know if it has been.
Until the next post - think well and think good.