Happy 2014 everyone! I hope everyone had a wonderful start to the year. I am a big fan of the refreshed feeling only a new year can bring, but I have mixed feelings about making resolutions. I love setting goals (mainly for the love of list writing) and I think it's a really important part of getting yourself on track and achieving what you want to achieve. My slight problem with new years resolutions is that it's often tempting to make hazy and unspecific goals ("be healthier"), which end up putting you under false pressure because they are hard to keep.
This year I am not setting resolutions exactly, but I am going to start a life project that I've been sitting on for a while. It has stemmed from my struggles over the past few years to balance my life and various jobs and trying to keep my head above water. In my first year of uni I discovered that I have dyspraxia, which explained a LOT about why I was finding everything so difficult and having panic attacks. I was so disorganised and stressed, and that was having a huge impact on my self esteem and my ability to progress at the rate I wanted to. Luckily over the past four years I have learnt that it's not that "I can't do" things, it's more that I need to approach things from a different angle. I gradually taught myself good habits, which have now become second nature, and now I feel so much more competent in organising myself and I don't feel overwhelmed with stress all the time.
The reason for that slight tiny violin story is that my project for 2014 is all about habits. I've been reading a lot of inspiring books lately, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey is one of them. I'm only half way through, and even though some of it is a little dated (first published in 1989), I am finding the basic principal of reconditioning your habits really fascinating. The word "habit" is often used negatively - to describe your bad habits - but what I am learning is that good habits are actually more powerful than bad.
Even though I feel a lot more capable now than I did a few years ago, I feel like I'm still not working to my full potential. So this year I want to teach myself 12 good habits that will allow me to balance my life more efficiently and achieve more with less stress and anxiety. They are not all going to be organisation based - some will be really simple and some will be more about changing thought processes. I don't even know what they all are yet, but I am really excited to get going.
As always, it is much more useful to share these types of challenges with others, so I would love you to join me! At the beginning of each month I will set out the specific habit I'll be focusing on, then anyone who is interested in having a go at it with me can do so in their own way. Then at the end of the month I'd love to get some sort of shared posting/forum going on where we can share our thoughts and any tips we've picked up along the way.
I think that's enough of that for now, and all will become more clear when I post about the first habit later on in the week. In the mean time, if anyone has any thoughts or ideas then please share - I'm hoping that I haven't made this sound really boring and that some people will be inspired to join in :)