With the New Year, I suspect a lot of you have had some time to reflect on the past year and to plan for 2022.
If you haven’t done it yet, it’s totally okay because, you know, you could always say you operate according to the Lunar calendar ;)
Joking aside, this New Year brought up something wholly unexpected for me – a level of resistance that I’ve never experienced before. People often comment on my disciplined nature and jokingly say if you have something difficult to do give it to Songy. Well, earlier this year I didn’t really feel I had the energy or motivation to carry on.
For one reason or another, I was faced with a sense of hopelessness. Perhaps this isn’t unusual for most of us who have lived through perhaps some of the most challenging few years of our lives with the global pandemic – and any sage would advise us to practice self-compassion.
Our life must go on as long as we have a purpose (we may even be lucky enough to have a mission in life). With those thoughts swirling around in my head, I came across James Clear’s Atomic Habits. Well, I’ve seen the book heavily promoted on Social Media for several months and I resisted it, thinking ‘another book on habit-forming?’ Yet, I picked it up.
I read and listened to the book in a few days and here’s what was the most memorable for me to kick start the New Year with gusto.
You fall to the level of your systems.Atomic Habits by James Clear
James’ book made me realise why and how I’ve been able to kick so many goals in the past few years. It wasn’t motivation or self-discipline. Yes, perhaps I had a bit of both but probably not a whole lot more than most people.
What I had was a system that enabled me to ‘perform’ without rumination, worry or fear which, incidentally, were exactly the things that started bubbling up in my head at the start of this year. Why I felt that sense of hopelessness will be for another time. What I did about that sense of hopelessness was to introduce a new system.
Some of you might find it unrelatable, but in order to establish a new system for the New Year, I started time-blocking my calendar. This may seem very hardcore for some but it’s not hard for me. In fact, I gamified it, as in, I’m keeping my plan/colouring in my hours so that I keep my calendar ‘packed full’ which gives me a sense of peace at the end of each day. At some point, this will become automatic and I could become more flexible. OR like the crazy chick that I am, I might keep on doing this for the rest of the year!
And that feeling of hopelessness? Not so much now. I’m re-calibrating my system which will make me the kind of person who can achieve the goals that I set out for this year. If nothing else, I’ve already learned a great deal about myself (again) in the first month of the year. And I say, that’s plenty good enough for me.