1) Don’t procrastinate. It’s easy to say, “I’ll definitely take care of that tomorrow,” because tomorrow never arrives. Meanwhile, you feel good that you’ve, “set a goal,” which, since it is scheduled for tomorrow, will never have to be accomplished. This is good for your ego, but bad for your productivity. Putting off procrastination by replacing the word “tomorrow” in that first sentence with the word “now,” or at least a specific time on a specific day, is good for both. Not only do you accomplish your goal, but you get to decorate your to-do list with a lovely little check mark. And I love check marks.
2) Don’t engage in negative speech. Whether directed at others or at yourself, it isn’t helpful. In fact, verbal negativity is a depressing psuedo-communication that centers your attention on what cannot be done, rather than on what can be done. I do not mean to suggest that all things are possible. Turning one’s self into a wombat is probably (hopefully?) not possible. But really, why would you want to do that anyway? I’m just saying that focusing on what isn’t possible is counterproductive and steals time from achieving the things that are. Besides, I’m pretty sure that most humans would find becoming a wombat an uncomfortable proposition at best.
3) Don’t entertain jealousy or its ugly younger brother, malice. They are a waste of emotional energy. That includes gossip and it’s practitioners. Focusing on what others have or are or can do gobbles up emotional and mental resources that would be better spent achieving your own potential. Concentrate on being your best self and you won’t have the time or energy to worry about other peoples selves, best or otherwise. And you’ll be happier, too.
4) Don’t forget to help others along your way. Reaching out to someone in need combats our own selfishness and reminds us to be grateful for what we have. It makes us feel better about ourselves and the world we live in. It increases the world store of kindness and generosity by encouraging those qualities in others. Beyond all that, and more importantly, it’s the right thing to do.
5)Do not, under any circumstances, abandon hope. Lets face it. The world we live in sometimes takes special delight in knocking us down and stomping on our dreams. Sometimes it stomps directly on us and I don’t know which is more painful. Corny as it may sound, there’s a reason Pandora let Hope out of that box. It makes the hardest challenge bearable, because hope assures us that, as my mother used to tell me, “this too shall pass.” Cliches are cliches for a reason. The sun will come out tomorrow. There will be a brighter day. Perseverance does pay off.
Whatever your dreams are for this new year, do hold on to them; work toward your goals and don’t give up. May your soul be gentle, your spirit kind and your life blessed.