It‘s January, the start of a new year and the start of new lists. Or at least that’s what everyone says we should do. But we know from experience that the well-intentioned lists of January often turn into the regrets of February, (OK, maybe March or April if you are really good.) Why does this happen? It happens because the sugar high from goodies ingested during the holidays impairs our judgment and we tend to get a bit too lofty in our goal setting. As reality sets in and we move into the implementation phase we back off, regroup, or just forget the list altogether. Not a good recipe for success is it?
I first noticed this phenomenon in a kick-boxing class that met three days a week at our local YMCA. All year long there was plenty of room in the class, in fact there was space left over so you could kick and box with all your gusto and never hit another human being. I loved that! Then January rolled around. Instantly the class became crowded with people who apparently put ‘get in shape’ on their New Year’s Resolution list. I got elbowed, stepped on, punched and kicked from every direction. The exercise high of getting into ‘the zone’ was replaced by a ‘get this over and get out of here’ attitude. By mid-February it all changed; while we gained one or two class members the rest had either given up or decided to try another class. And so it goes, each year we set unrealistic goals, which are often the same ones we had last year and the year before, get discouraged, and go back to our old habits. Which makes me think the whole resolutions list is overrated. What if instead of resolving what to do in the year ahead we make a list of what we won’t do? Maybe it’s easier to get rid of a negative behavior than it is to add a positive one. So that’s what I have done. The difference is, my list should be adhered to for the rest of your life, not just 2012.
Darla’s Top Ten “Not To Do” List
1. Do not take your blessings for granted. Practice gratitude for little the stuff each day.
2. Do not be quick to judge, criticize or blame. Its 3 things but they go together to create a negative energy drain in our life and relationships.
3. Do not harbor negative thoughts. They are like poison and multiply fast!
4. Do not hold grudges. Let it go. Really.
5. Do not cause pain for yourself or others. There is already enough in the world. We don’t need to create more.
6. Do not try to do it all. Asking for help is not failure.
7. Do not limit yourself. Expand and think big for yourself and others.
8. Do not be afraid. Fear is not fatal and comfort zones do expand.
9. Do not neglect yourself. Nurturing yourself is not indulgence.
10. Do not worry. It’s just a bad habit and keeps you from the reality of NOW.
I know this doesn’t cover everything, but it’s a start. What would be on your Top Ten “Not To Do” List? Right now I’m going to make a copy of mine and post it in a prominent place. Happy 2012!