Ok. So, here’s the first dilemma.
If half of the useable day was spent sleeping to get rid of a serious case of sleep deprivation and a headache brought on by extreme physical strain at a high altitude, and the other half of the day was spent driving the mother in law to the airport and then driving back home – followed by some quality entertainment time with my husband – how should I deal with the lack of pictures taken on this second day of the year?
I took 567 pictures yesterday. Can any of them count for today? Or is it enough that I spent a generous amount of time going through them and sorting them today?
How do you deal with New Year’s Resolutions when you get caught up in your daily life?
How do you remember to do all of the things you promised yourself you would?
I did write yesterday.
Even if I was hanging on to reality by a thin thread while typing away on my mobile phone, half asleep in the backseat of my car, being driven across snow covered landscapes in the dark of night.
I also did do my stretches.
I failed to do the exercises I have mentioned in my list, but then again, I spent most of yesterday being tugged and pulled up and down a mountain by a bunch of big dogs, so I count that as double the exercises I had planned to do. Or are these simply excuses I am coming up with here?
Perhaps all of the changes we seek to do in life aren’t really changes as much as managing habits. It’s not so much about doing something different as it is about not doing that something we usually do.
Sure, the changes might be positive – do this or do that – but, really, to do those things you need to not do the things you usually do… For example: you would like to run a marathon. For this you should train every day of the week (while giving yourself the appropriate amount of rest). The training takes a lump of your day, each day. A time that, according to your, say, new year’s resolutions, should be spent on endurance training, stretching, and whatever else might be required. It might take only, say, half an hour each day, but that half an hour would have normally been spent on something else.
You might be a real slob (yes, I am talking of myself here), and your day might have been filled with spending (i.e. wasting) time online. You might normally justify this time spent online by telling yourself that you are reading up about current issues, or learning about some disturbing disease, or something of the like. To do the required half an hour of training you should, hence, not spend that time on the computer.
But what about the days when even your daily routine is off? How do you then allocate your time to accommodate to the changes you are requiring of yourself? How do you move from your usual time management mode into an alternative one?
No matter how positive the changes you seek might be, it requires you to not do the things you would normally give your attention to.
I know this might sounds obvious, and it is.
However, the act in itself, of changing the course of your daily life, is not quite as easy as deciding to change your life. It’s a bit like trying to quit smoking: the idea, the decision, the desire might be there, but the actual fact of changing your habits, of changing what you do, how you live your life on a daily basis, is not quite as simple as simply deciding on it. Of course some people have a harder time making life changing decisions come to life than others. My mom always used to tell me the story of how my grandfather stopped smoking: one day, while sitting in his office, after years of trying to quit, he pulled open the drawer in which he kept his cigarettes, and instead of lighting one up there and then, as he always did, he said he’d do it in five minutes.
The five minutes turned into ten.
And finally, the rest of his life.
He never decided to quit.
He simply decided to have the next cigarette in five minutes.
He hadn’t decided to change his habits, to change his life, to give up anything. He didn’t push himself out of his boundaries to achieve a grander goal of changing the way he operated on a daily basis. He simply shifted the time he allocated to his usual habits until a later time.
Maybe that is key.
Maybe it is simply about leaving the habits for a bit later and getting something else done before. And that something else could be writing, or taking a picture, or exercising, or learning something new, or remembering to keep to the other points on the long list of resolutions I imposed upon myself before giving time to the usual activities that I have let take a hold of my life …