So, how’re your New Year’s resolutions going? It’s the end of the second week of January and mine, such as they were, are doing just fine. You see, I haven’t deployed them yet. Why? Well that’s a good question.
My brother celebrates Christmas, then New Year’s, followed by his birthday on 9 January (happy belated birthday Brendan!) – all in the space of three weeks. On top of that, he is getting re-oriented to work, trying to piece together everything that was live and happening before the holiday break. He is simultaneously navigating a lockdown and home schooling in his part of the world. Busy times. This is a lot of mental and social activity which is more intense and tiring than most of our year. When you think about it, this isn’t the most fertile ground in which we want to plant the seeds of new behaviours and habits, i.e. this is a lousy time for setting New Year’s resolutions!.
With that in mind, this year I have decided to celebrate the Orthodox New Year, also known as the Old New Year, which falls on 14 January this year. This is when I will fully step into 2021.
My observance of this date will have me re-start my 30 minute home gym workout, return to my consistent morning meditation, and create an evening stretching routine. I am starting now because there was no clear runway on 1 January for my “habit plane” to take off. Not mentally, physically or emotionally. There was too much going on.
However, now, I have been able to create the space to re-create my bedrock habits. And I don’t feel the pressure to be getting things right. I have grounded myself in this adaptation of a Bill Gates idea: most people overestimate what they can do in a week and underestimate what they can do in a year.
My commitment for 2021 is to nurture my physical health as a foundation for my mental, emotional and spiritual health. My focus will not be on when I don’t follow through on my daily habit, but rather on when I do. I will celebrate my successes, rather than chastise myself for not doing something.
My end goal is not to have exercised, stretched and meditated (although I will have done these things); it is to cultivate a level of fitness and healthy living that allows me to grow my resilience and live my purpose.
What I’ve learned about life is that many of the things that I want to do are not ends in themselves – they simply enable me to do what deeply matters to me. In my case it is to enable purpose driven leaders to take responsibility for their world and make choices which powerfully serve their vision.
That is why at the end of 2021, I will be healthier and more grounded, because living my purpose matters to me.
Happy Old New Year.