"Success is never final, failure is never fatal; it is courage that counts.” -
Many of you may be too young to remember this, but in the 1970’s there was a slogan on a bumper sticker that had a thumbs up sign with the words “Keep on Trucking.” There were several variations but the one I recall had a funky font and a dude wearing bell bottoms. I think it was meant to be encouraging to those who read it, and surely brought many a smile. It’s now mid-March and I am curious how many people have managed to stick with their New Year’s resolutions. Do we need some encouragement at this point? We are not even a full three months in, but surely it's felt longer for some. Especially for those of us who have managed to fail to some degree.
What are you currently working on? Some statistics from the Journal of Critical Psychology, out of the University of Scranton, reported that the top three resolutions for 2014 were:1. Lose Weight
2. Get Organized
3. Spend Less, Save More
Most of us have "Work On Book" in there somewhere right! And although that all sounds about pretty typical, it is quite accurate. Sadly the study showed that 45% of people nationwide made resolutions, but only 8% managed to keep them! That doesn’t sound terribly encouraging. So why make any at all?
I know why!!! Because...a wise man once said, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” Ah, ha!
Although not in the top three, my personal favorite and current resolution works hand-in-hand with the others...which is, “Stop Procrastinating!” In order to help achieve this goal I went to the library to enlist some help. On the focus shelf sat a terrific little book entitled, “The Procrastinator’s Handbook. Mastering the Art of Doing It Now,” by Rita Emmett. So far it has been quite enjoyable. I had a goal to read it for the New Year and am about half way through. I am really looking forward to finishing it...
One of the many exercises the book suggests is that you make a list of 101 things you want or need to do. It instructs you to walk through every room in your house and jot down anything you see that needs to be done. It even asks you to consider goals for your spiritual and mental health, your family, friends, pets and social life. I already had three separate lists I’d been working on, so I was half way there.
An insightful quip this book shared is something called Emmett’s Law. It states that, “The dread of doing a task uses up more time and energy than doing the task itself.” This could hold true for various habits or tasks we are trying to embark upon. I found my favorite chapters to be the ones devoted to excuses, clutter, planning, and just being plain overwhelmed.
Here's a good one. On a recent segment of a popular news show they had an expert suggest that we set aside just 10 minutes a day for household tasks. Easy right! He argues that before we know it, they will all be completed. The show spotlighted a family with 9 children and had them all working together. It was quite inspiring. I think I will try that with my family next week.So what if some of us have not been fully on track with whatever it is we are trying to accomplish, yet. Maybe we have stumbled and haven’t gotten up at 6 a.m. every day of the week, with a spring in our step and a song in our heart. Maybe our book is at a standstill, or losing that weight hasn’t happened as quickly as we would have liked. The wonderful thing about all of this is that we still have a chance to do better. Tomorrow holds hope. We can take the dogs on a walk today, and the next, clean out the kitchen junk drawer. It may be past January 1st, but that’s alright. We don’t have to be down on ourselves for slip ups or stalls. I think the true tragedy would be losing the desire to progress and better ourselves. To simply strive is enough. Maybe all we can do is just “Keep on Truckin’!” Whatever the rest of the year holds in store for us, is truly up to…well…US!
Be good to yourself.