Monthly Archives: January 2011

All year round list – check

So we are a week into the New Year. How are the resolutions holding out?

I’m not a great believer in setting a whole bunch of resolutions at the start of the New Year. I prefer to have an all year round list.  Most resolutions are about giving up something. How hard is that?

Isn’t it better to focus on the positive change that you are going to make. So, for example, rather than give up drinking alcohol for a New Year resolution, (Think carefully about this – why would you?) consider it more as an opportunity to explore a range of delicious soft drinks that you have never tried before – rather than how you are going to deprive yourself of drinking alcohol for a month…. 6 months…year….forever…….

‘Life is like a coin. You can spend it any way you wish, but you only spend it once.’ Lillian Dickson

Set yourself up to win. Set resolutions that are realistic. Focus on what you are going to achieve, not all the things you are going to go without. Because the moment you tell yourself you are not going to do something it’s all you want to do.

I’m a self-confessed all year round list writer. Writing down what you are going to achieve makes it more real and more likely to happen.  Check back in every so often to see how you are doing. Note the items on your list that you have made progress on and celebrate.

My list changes over time but today it looks a bit like this….

1. Embrace procrastination - check

2. Learn to sing – check.  People who know me will delight at this, and there is a 6 week course in March that I’m going to do

3. Learn to freedive – check.  Course on 19th February am scared but what’s the worst that can happen?

4. Do stuff that matters – check. I think about this one a lot, if something dosen’t matter then what’s the point in doing it?

5. Listen more/better - check.  This is hard but I’m trying.

6. Make people laugh – check.  I made 3 people laugh yesterday, not sure if it was at or with me (but my list didn’t specify).

7. Appreciate and reflect on the good stuff – check.  Actually I’m pretty lucky, appreciating it right now.

8. Have an adventure – check.  I’m going to Djibouti tonight to count Whale Sharks, If it’s not an adventure I’m asking for a refund.

9.Always have well manicured feet – check. Well kept trotters make me happy. (see points 1 and 7)

10. Read Nadine Stairs poem – check. I read this most weeks and it inspires me

So success is if I get anything done on my list its better than nothing. Life is too short to give up the things you enjoy. Set yourself up to win. What’s on your list today?

Embrace Procrastination

Procrastination; to defer action; delay: to put off till another day or time; to procrastinate until an opportunity is lost.

Today I’ve done a brilliant job of procrastinating. The irony of writing a blog about procrastination when I have a million other things I ‘should’ be doing is not lost on me either.

Whilst procrastinating I found this

as well as lots of other brilliant and interesting things on the internet that I spent quite some time tweeting about……

“If we wait for the moment when everything, absolutely everything is ready, we shall never begin.” Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev

If you could plot world incidence or frequency of procrastination I think the first few days in January would show a procrastination epidemic. We all make pledges of how we are going to change our lives and be better people for the New Year. Which we break pretty much instantly and then we feel glum about it.

So my view is that every day should be an opportunity to be a better person in some way, no matter how small. We shouldn’t spend January beating ourselves up because we drank wine, we ate chocolate or we didn’t go to the gym. We should appreciate and celebrate all the achievements we do make. No matter how small. And we should do this every day.

And what’s wrong with procrastinating anyway? Today I’ve had a brilliant lie in, got a clean flat, have spoken to friends on the phone – that’s important right?, read some of my book and I went to the gym; four hours later than planned, but it was still open and quiet because most people went before 4.30pm.

In the context of innovation and creativity, we know that the more experiences we have, the more likelihood we have of combining previously unconnected connections to develop new ideas. So if procrastination is daydreaming, going off course, doing something that allows your mind to wander, seeking things that you are interested in rather than things you ‘should’ be doing, then I reckon its true to say that procrastination is a good thing for your creative thinking.

I’m not saying its ok to potter about all day daydreaming and putting your books in chronological order for the sheer hell of wasting time. If something is urgent, genuinely urgent, make yourself do it. Then go and usefully procrastinate once its done.

So procrastination need not be a dirty word. In fact put procrastinate on your list. Embrace it.

For some more views on procrastination check out this……