Dear Diary, My life needs to change and 2006 is going to be my year! I'm rebooting my life and starting over. I will write down my plan tomorrow.
[8:28 p.m.] You know how people always tell you to put your goals on paper? Well, here it is! "How to reset my life." I think that sounds pretty impressive!
[9:05 p.m.] The big plan hasn't materialized yet, but I know it's coming...
[9:17 p.m.] Step one is eluding me, but as soon as I have it, the rest will fall into place.
[22:00 p.m.] Stop mocking me, you stupid blank page!
[22:06 p.m.] Maybe I have writer's block? Is it even possible to have writer's block regarding my own life and my Big Magical Plan?
[22:08 p.m.] Going to bed. No Big Magical Plan. I'll do it tomorrow.
The next morning, the truth hit me in the face like a cream pie in a slapstick comedy: I didn't have a Big Magical Plan. My big reboot wasn't going to be spectacular. I didn't even know where to begin.
I can honestly look back at 2021 and say that the year was good to me. Even though the horrible COVID-19 virus was – and still is – disrupting our lives, it was also a year of opportunity and achievement for me.
Big strides in my career meant that work was busier than ever, and my new fitness regime was fulfilling but demanding.
However, as my schedule got more hectic, other goals fell by the wayside. Most notably, an important home renovation project kept being pushed back. By mid November, however, I decided that I couldn't put it off any longer.
So I kicked into "adrenaline mode" and started the renovation, despite my creeping and consistent fatigue.
One evening in mid December, I got a reality check. I was too tired to climb one flight of stairs to my bedroom. I literally had to stop on the landing halfway and rest for a few seconds. Me! The same person who runs up to 45 kilometers a week.
I realized I needed a reboot. But if I could barely muster the strength to climb those stairs, where was I supposed to find the energy to completely change my life?
As we ambled toward the end of 2021, I started seeing and hearing the same message in different places and from different sources.
A colleague shared some thoughts with me:
"The mindset that we should suddenly live a completely new (and demanding) lifestyle the minute the clock strikes midnight is not sustainable for our mental health."– Seph Fontane Pennock, co-founder of PositivePsychology.com
He then asked the question, "So, instead of completely reinventing ourselves, how about we just take small and trackable steps toward a liberated mind?"
A day later, a family member shared the following quote with me:
"Be happy in the moment – that's enough. Each moment is all we need; not more."– Mother Teresa
And Seth Godin's last blog in 2021 contained this pearl of wisdom: "If you're feeling creative, do the errands tomorrow. The calendar belongs to everyone else. Their schedule isn't your schedule unless it helps you get where you're going."
A common theme started emerging: it's the small things that count.
A few days after Desmond Tutu passed away, I sat down to read some articles about his life and work, and came upon these words:
"Do your little bit of good where you are; it's those little bits of good that overwhelm the world."– Archbishop Desmond Tutu, South African theologian and activist
"Little bits of good... little bits of good... " It reverberated in my mind. He didn't say, "Do one massive thing."
The message was confirmed: I had to pay attention to the small things. A reboot doesn't have to be a factory reset, after all. Instead, take small steps toward your goals. They may not seem impactful at first, but little changes can soon make a big impression on your life.
I am what I attend to in life. I will consider my convenience. I will give small if I'm unable to give large. I will honor my time, my purpose and my soul. I will feed the birds, play with my dog, chat with loved ones, and re-nourish my body and brain. I won't say yes when I want to say no. And I will rebuild my broken trust in a loved one – one minute at a time.
Bit by bit it will be done.
If only I had known this on December 30, 2005. But it's never too late to start!
During our latest #MTtalk Twitter chat we discussed what rebooting yourself for 2022 means, and what you need to be aware of in the process. Here are all the questions we asked, and some of the best responses:
@SayItForwardNow The phrase "rebooting for 2022" reminds me that I can reimagine this New Year... and I am grateful for all of the new possibilities!
@MikeB_MT Reminds me of my favorite tech tactic – simply stated, restart or reboot. It's also a thought I carry into meditation – if distracted, simply "begin again." It's good to have this focus at the year's start, even better to practice it throughout.
@SoniaH_MT Having regularly scheduled personal "reboots" helps us prolong our lives. If that periodic date (monthly, bimonthly, quarterly, semi-annually) falls in January, so be it.
@SarahH_MT I always feel an overwhelming pressure at New Year to "be better" – you can't get away from the "New Year, New Me" messages and I actually find these really unhelpful. Why do I have to be a "new me"? Wasn't the old me "good enough"? Rebooting is much better framing.
@WonderPix Small things can become big things if we don't pay attention to them, and sometimes reboot a bit.
@LDresslerplus Rebooting sounds like a complete reset, a complete new beginning. But small things can definitely make a big difference.
@ColfaxInsurance It's very exciting! I love when people declare their intentions and goals, and it gets me pumped to work on my own project.
@Midgie_MT It's a way to be held accountable for your new actions and habits. If we don't tell anyone what we are doing, it can be easier to "let ourselves off the hook" when we do not do them. Yet, publicly declaring our intentions can make us accountable.
@lg217 The outcome of my own reboot is that I would love to end the year saying that I did something that I have not done before. That is why I am creating my own YouTube channel. Not for money, but to say that I did something unique this year!!!
@TheTomGReid When I set goals, I establish the metrics for determining success at the outset. If I am not making progress early on, I assess whether I am doing the right things and can adjust earlier rather than later. This way, as well, I know when I have "arrived."
@Dwyka_Consult I will look forward to tomorrow instead of dreading tomorrow. That's usually a good indicator to me.
@SoniaH_MT Each personal reboot has its own SMART goal so that's what I would use to determine when I succeeded.
@ZalkaB I see it all as a bundle. There's rarely well-being without all aspects involved. For me 2022 is about continuous work on my whole, balanced everyday – I've got a different rhythm and schedule now that I'm experiencing it in full.
@GodaraAR A good night's sleep is a good start for a physical reboot.
@Midgie_MT It is important because without the physical side (action), the new thoughts, habits or approaches remain simply a nice idea or thoughts.
@MikeB_MT Movement matters. Walking, exercise, being in nature. The physical, mental, and emotional feed each other. For me, it's not a siloed process.
@ColfaxInsurance This is tough sometimes. If you have someone you trust that can help you be an accountability partner or give you insights you might not be able to see, this can sometimes help.
@SayItForwardNow This is such an important question! Meditation helps me explore the baggage/burdens that I am carrying, and find creative ways to release them.
@Yolande_MT I need to ask myself, "How is _____ (behavior/ thoughts) working for me?" If it isn't, ditch it. If it is, strengthen it. I also ask others this question when it's appropriate and necessary.
@SarahH_MT I'm going to review monthly by asking myself three gentle but effective questions: 1. What has gone well with your reboot in the last month? 2. What would have been even better? 3. What will you do in the next month to continue rebooting?
To read all the tweets, have a look at the Wakelet collection of this chat here.
You don't have to be a superstar to be visible, appreciated and valued. Next time on #MTtalk, we're going to discuss celebrating the ordinary. In our Twitter poll this week, we'd like to know which ordinary act or small step will have the biggest impact on your journey of rebooting in 2022.
"We can start with the question, 'What do you need me to do?' and respect their answer at the time. Let them know where you will be and BE THERE if they reach out. " @eriphar
My obvious first step was to figure out exactly what I want to do. But, during my studies, I realized just how rare it is to have a concrete idea of what you want out of your career at this stage in life.
"I have personally gone off track at times due to a lack of awareness in the moment and because my distractions have been stronger than my intentions."