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Friday, December 31, 2010

Letters from my Dad

I got this fabulous e-mail from my Dad for New Years.  He has obviously been doing a bit of thinking lately.

"A dog's New Year's Resolution: I will not chase that stick unless I actually see it leave his hand!" ~Unknown
This is the time of year when, traditionally, people look to making New Year resolutions. I don’t know about dogs though.
They seem to fall into two broad groups (the people and the resolutions).
Firstly are those whose last year was not so crash hot , again, so there are things that need attention for them to feel they are in some sort of control : it might be issues like weight, exercise, work, recreation, ... anything.
Their New year resolutions tend to be a rehash of the failed Old Year resolutions!
Mark Twain had it this way: New Year's Day… now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual.
The other group tend to be a bit more realistic and use the seasonal downtime to do a warts-and-all review of goals achieved from the last year, a realistic assessment of what worked and why, and then build on the good bits for achievable and worthwhile reasons.
The main difference I think is that the first group aren’t really going anywhere so for them New Year resolutions is more about going through the motions than actually doing anything; the second group has an increasingly clear idea of what they want from living self directed lives and are prepared to do something to get it.
Personally I think it’s a bit of a waste of time waiting until around 31 December to think about what to do to get anything sorted.
I much prefer running a regular personal maintenance programme on a daily, or at most a quarterly, basis. Like gardening really, planting new stuff before the old plants have been harvested so the next crop is coming on to take their place.
This day, every day, is priceless and I like this Idea from a guy Hal Borland: Year's end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instil in us
But for those into the New Year thing I would have one idea to offer: Since it takes about 6 weeks to create a new habit, if there is a real need (and will) to discard old ways for new, and there is a goal to achieve, then commit to 30 minutes at the start of each day doing what needs to happen – no matter what.
That’s the hard call – which is probably why New Year resolutions keep coming to haunt some people.
May you see joy in each day, the value of true friendship and the golden promise of the future.
Happy New Year

What were your New Year's resolutions?


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