If you haven't dedicated your year yet or you've had a change of heart and want to rename your year, no worries. Now is the time. We have eleven months of thought provoking fun ahead of us.
We'll take our cue for today's topic from Groundhog Day - the annual celebration for which we have come to know and love February 2. It is not only the day that weathermen gather to see if Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow at Gobblers Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, it is also the holiday around which the hilarious movie Groundhog Day was based.
Murray plays Phil Connors, an egocentric Pittsburgh TV weatherman who, during a hated assignment covering the annual Groundhog Day event in Punxsutawney, finds himself repeating the same day over and over again. After indulging in hedonism, Murray's character begins to reexamine his life and priorities.
One, two, three, JUMP.
That's right I'm making a leap.
In her book, "This Year I Will..." M.J. Ryan poses the question, "How do you get off the merry-go-round of doing the same old thing again? How, oh how can you have faith that this time will be any different?" Like Bill Murray in the movie Groundhog Day, how can you assure this year's dream won't result in failed attempts again and again?
I talked about writing a book at least two years ago. I started off last year with a renewed sense of promise and even told a few friends of my plans. Two years later and still no book. Holly, I am assuming you didn't wake up this year suddenly wanting to be organized and Kat, I assuming you've been in search of a schedule that works for a while. The question is what will make this year different for Holly, Kat, me, and... f or, that matter, for the rest of you?
Ryan maintains, and I agree, "we have a wealth of information and experience from the previous attempts , no matter how many those may be, to draw on this time." Rather than believing that nothing can be done about failed attempts, she suggests that successful people view failure as an opportunity to learn new things. When people have a "growth orientation" (as opposed to the previously described, "fixed orientation") they focus more on developing new strategies for success and less on simply giving up.
For example, I've learned quite a few things from my last two failed attempts to write a book. I've learned:
- It's never going to happen if I try squeezing writing time into my already busy schedule.
- I get easily distracted by other ideas and projects.
- A year goes fast.
- I have allowed the magnitude and unknown elements of this project to intimidate me.
- I am most productive in the morning.
- It helps me to have an outside person to whom I feel accountable.
- I am more successful when I carve out some time every day, as opposed to big blocks of time periodically.
- I excuse lack of progress on my book by reminding myself of the time spent writing my blog post each day.
Signing off until tomorrow, Tuesday, February 2.