2 0 1 3 And The Clean Slate
2 0 1 3.
Hello! Welcome back! It’s a New Year!
Commencing obligatory New Year’s Resolutions post.
In all seriousness, though, starting a new year is great. Why not take advantage of what is – symbolically at least – a fresh start? In this very optimistic vein, I have laid out my thoughts and advice on how to achieve your New Year’s resolutions (I promise it isn’t too trite).
It’s a chance for me to bring up one of my personal maxims: Nothing has to stay the same if you don’t want it to. On that note, let me put forth some of my ideas on how to make that happen.
Put your plan on paper.
Put it on your bathroom door or mood board. A nice, clean, and most of all, positive space that creates just the right sense of attractiveness about your goals. Personalise it too. If it’s more personal, there’s more emotion invested in it. And emotion is what really ends up propelling your goals forward, instead of adhering to sheer drudgery.
I used to keep these little hand-drawn cards in my wallet that I could just take out and read when things got particularly hard in school. This is a lovely little reminder in the middle of even the crappiest day of what you are working towards. Get a friend to make you one, too. You’ll feel less alone in your courageous fight for the perfect grades or muscle tone.
Make your plan visible.
And I don’t just mean to yourself. Yes, you should stick your paper plan somewhere that is within your daily line of vision. But I also strongly encourage making your plan visible to other people. In an age where blogging, microblogging, status updates and what-have-you, you can publish your intentions of making your life better on a medium where you will be held accountable by your friends, family, and barely-acquantainces, which will in turn give you incentive to be accountable to yourself. It’s far harder to excuse minor slip-ups when you know other people are watching your progress.
Dream about it as if it were real.
I am going to do a much more in-depth post about the meditative aspects of goal-fulfillment, but I feel that this is too important to leave out.
One of the most crucial aspects of visualization is to add as much reality to the picture as possible. I do not mean reality exclusively in terms of the senses, like sight, sound, touch, etc., but also in the way that you incorporate emotions into it.
As I said, emotions are truly what drives your success. This is simply because if you aren’t invested in a goal, it doesn’t have as much staying power, whether in your subconscious or (to my belief) the universe as a whole. You have to feel with such force that it attracts what you desire to you.
Clear the clutter.
Every year, we accumulate a lot of crap. That is a given. This can be emotional, mental, or (definitely) physical clutter. Get rid of it. It doesn’t help you in your search for X or Y. It just takes up unnecessary space in your life. Be ruthless, so that you can have the clarity of mind to make the best decisions for yourself, as opposed to being weighed down by concerns that are of the past.
Don’t discount symbolic acts.
To clear clutter, symbolic acts can be surprisingly helpful. Is clutter-clearing is a symbolic act in itself? Anyway. Two of my clearest memories were from after PSLE and O’ Levels, where I dumped all my papers, books, files into an enormous pot and set it on fire. I stained the balcony slightly, but honestly, literally burning all that pressure away was very cathartic. A chapter had closed in my life, and I was ready to move on from it. This cleared the path for me to explore new things and evolve much more as a person. Do whatever it is you want to do – write a song, run around in the rain, anything. Get whatever you need to out of your system.
Alternatively, this also works for new beginnings (a phrase that makes me think of drag queens, but anyway). Buy a piece of merchandise from your new school or workplace and place it somewhere that seems right. Remind yourself of the new phase that you are starting.
Plan for laziness.
So I try to put myself in situations where I know I won’t slack off. This usually means studying in a public place (so I can’t fall asleep), but never in a group (where the chat never really going to be as productive as it could be). Understand yourself, and in what ways you are most probably going to slip up. Don’t want to go running because you might get bug bites later? Purposely don’t apply mosquito repellent so that you have to outrun the mosquitoes. I’m a big fan of knowing yourself, and that’s how lots of successful people get where they want to go. Not necessarily through sheer willpower alone, although there is much of that. The smartest people know how to provide for their weaknesses.
Make the related activities as enjoyable as possible.
If you’re seeking an end all the time, you will most likely run out of patience midway, because the journey seems intolerable. So if you want to lose weight, take up cooking so that you can savour the food that you make, even though it might have too many vegetables for most sane people. Find some way to make the activities that seem like chores, grow into favourite pastimes. Life will be much, much easier.
And that concludes my first POTS 2013 rumination. Thank you for reading, and it’s good to be back. New post every Sunday. Unless I try and increase the frequency. But we’ll see how that goes.
See you next week.