Do you guys plan things for the year to come?
The habit of planning things around the 1st September comes from school – and old habits die hard.
It’s hard to plan things ahead. Mostly, we plan too much. Go to the gym four times a week, cut out chocolate and caffeine after 1 pm, go to bed early and get up at 7 am, practice mindfulness for 20 minutes a day every day, stop buying things you don’t need, don’t spend more than 20 minutes a day on social media, finally learn French…
Within a week or two of our aspirational re-birth, an unplanned situation leads to failure: you stay up until 12, can’t make it to the gym, eat cake at a friend’s birthday party… And the failure leads to the self-flagellation: “I didn’t keep my promise, so I’m am weak and worthless.” And then: “Well, since I’m a weak and worthless, I have nothing to lose. I’ll eat a tub of ice cream. ” And the next day comes the disappointment: “Why did I do all this yesterday? It’s exactly what I was trying to not do? I have no willpower. I will never change, it’s hopeless. ” And the wheel of the vicious planning-failure circle keeps turning.
It often turns out that we change habits by creating new ones. And the new ones aren’t necessarily more adaptive. Going to the gym four times a week gives you “permission” to eat that ice cream. Saving money on taxi rides gives you “permission” to buy more clothes. Once again: ice cream and clothes are on a pedestal, and you – mentally – are in the gutter. Not ideal.
I have the idea that making things public makes it harder to go back on your promises. Or so says JFK. Here are things I hope to get done before December:
- add photos of me to this blog and make it more personal
- instead of only making a list of what I plan to do the next day, start also writing a list of things I accomplished today
- do a basic course in coding (xhtml? html5?) and see if I want to continue with it
- sort out my car
- bring Mam to the theatre
- go on a short holiday
- go to the gym at least 40 times
- read 3 books
You are more than welcome to follow suit and tell me what you plan. Tag it #TC2017
The picture is of my Mam and me, many 1st of Septembers ago.