There is a platitude that says: “Today is the first day of the rest of your life.” By definition, a platitude is so over worn, banal, trite or stale that the saying has lost meaning. But today, there may be some new life in this particular platitude. Today is the first day of 2021. I doubt anyone is expecting an instant and miraculous change in their lives, but this is the first step to putting 2020 behind us. I’m sure I’m not the only one who is tightening my seatbelt and putting the pedal to the medal to help 2020 recede quickly in the rearview mirror.
Brian and I are skipping the New Year’s Resolution. Instead, we are focusing on creating a New Year’s Intention. If you want help or ideas in creating a New Year’s Intention, feel free to join is for a free, online workshop on Monday January 25th. For me, the Year of 2021 will be the year of optimism. I’m intentionally focusing on upping my ability to be optimistic in many ways. I’ve already written several posts on life hacks that set the foundation for optimism (setting intent, breaking a perfect streak on purpose, arguing with yourself, etc) and there will be more posts in 2021. But where do I want my focus to be now? How do I focus on being more?
Last year (aka a month ago) I decided a good path was to study the neurobiology of human brains. But I do not have the bandwidth to finish another master’s degree. Instead, I needed a trusted source that is easily accessible. While doing research on neuroscience, Dr. Robert Sapolsky’s name kept appearing. Two of his best selling books are: Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst and Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers: The Acclaimed Guide to Stress, Stress-Related Diseases, and Coping (Third Edition). I bought the audible version of Behave and listened to 30 minutes of it one night. Then I stopped. I was thinking, “One day, maybe tomorrow, I’ll put an hour or two to listen to the book.” Then tomorrow came and went. Tomorrow came and went for about a month. Each night I had plenty of excuses for not listening to the book. “I’m too tired, I won’t remember any of the content” or “I’ll just fall asleep” or “I have to listen to my meditation app instead.” Even in the midst of having 90% more time at home, I still didn’t carve out space to do something that was important to me. I kept telling myself “One day, I’ll make time to read that book.” Then I came across this quote:
“I could have easily sat back and continued to say, ‘One day.’ I could have kept dreaming, hoping and wishing. But instead, I started doing, and one day became day one, 20 years ago. And that’s what made all the difference.”Sara Blakely, Spanx Founder
I’m not talking about founding a multi-million dollar company. I’m just using some good advice and an inspiring, memorably quote to focus on ONE thing I want to do that I have been pushing aside. One thing that is important to me. 2020 was a year where I stretched the limit of my Amazon Prime Video and Netflix account. Yes, I organized most of my house. Yes, I set up a treadmill desk and got an average of 15,000 steps into an average workday. Yes, I watched over 100 TED talks. Yes, I read more books. Yes, I learned how to cook delicious, chef-designed vegan meals. Yes, I got to interact with friends all over the world via Zoom meetups. But I did not get to spend days inspirational, exhausting days at conferences with my like-hearted community where new ideas abound.
Agile Best Self Principle #11: The best inspirations and insights emerge from like-hearted communities.
My intellectual curiosity needs a bit more care and feeding this year, the year of 2021. January 1, 2021 is Day One of me reading Behave, which is part of my research on optimism and a nod to turning a “one day…” wishful thought into a “day one” action.
Is this phrase helps you motivate yourself, please use it. If not, I’d love to hear what worked for you to create some momentum.
Copyright © 2021 Michaele Gardner and Brian Hackerson