So called because as my grandmother used to say they were “Easily Made and Easily Broken”. At the time of writing we’re just a week into a brand new year.
Just one week ago so many were full of resolve with great resolutions for 2014.
This was the year that things were going to change, we were going to make a difference, we weren’t going to waste time, we were going to take control of our lives.
We were going to start tomorrow January 1st.
Except that New Years Eve was a bit of a late one and it’s a holiday so tomorrow will be fine.
January 2nd – it’s a Thursday, still feels very sleepy and not quite normal (still a holiday in Scotland) let’s hang fire.
So after that was January 3rd – but it’s a Friday no point in starting anything today.
Then the 4th & 5th, weekend – give me a break; I promise, new week, first proper new week of the New Year things will change.
So where are you now?
Only you know the answer.
There are countless books written on changing habits – believe me I feel as if I have read most of them. Websites and advice columns abound, here’s my top 10 thoughts.
- Don’t be afraid to fail. My favourite quote of all time from Samuel Beckett’s play Westward Ho “Ever tried, ever failed, try again, fail again, fail better.”
- Every journey has changes of direction, setbacks and upsets; you will never be immune from them. It’s how you deal with these things that matters. It doesn’t matter whether you fall over, what matters is getting up again – and learning.
- Incorporate the changes you want to make into your daily routine. So if you want to, say, write a journal ensure that you choose a time of day when you know you will have or will make time. “During my lunch break, after my sandwich, I will have a cup of coffee and sit for 10 minutes and write.” Don’t be afraid to write down your routine and see where the changes can come. You’ll be amazed at the amount of time that is unproductive.
- Everybody in this world has exactly one thing in common. They each share the fact that there are 24 hours in a day, 365 days in a year. What they don’t share is how they use them. Day in day out “we are what we repeatedly do” as Aristotle said so “excellence is not an act but a habit.”. Have you spent the first week of 2014 living with clarity, purpose, energy, direction, excitement and passion? If not when will you start?
- Turn off the television unless you are choosing to watch something specific that you want to see. How many hours of your life has been spent staring at a screen only for you to say “I don’t know why I watch this rubbish”.
- Every minute of every day we make choices about our attitude, our actions and our thoughts. Take control of yours. Be conscious and aware 24/7.
- Don’t let yourself be controlled by the slowest ship in the convoy. It’s your life, it’s up to you how you live it and at your speed.
- Be clear about what you want to change and what your goals are, write them down, determine the steps you need to take, visualise the outcomes then go for it.
- Work with a coach, a friend, a trusted adviser to help you stick to your chosen path. Change isn’t easy – if it was we’d all be living the dream.
- Every day is a new day, so a new chance, why not start NOW and take inspiration from William James’ words: “To change one’s life: Start immediately. Do it flamboyantly. No exceptions.”
What’s stopping you?
Dr Alun Rees BDS runs Dental Business Partners to help dentists build their perfect practice. An experienced dental practice owner who changed career he now works as a consultant, coach, analyst, speaker and writer. He brings the wisdom gained from his and others successes to help his clients achieve the rewards their work and dedication deserve.