Someone once said that morning is not just the time ending in a.m. Morning is when you wake up! Morning time usually represents the beginning of our day, as opposed to the night time when we shut down and rest. As someone who likes to encourage good time management, I think it is important to know that we all have different schedules, desires and pace in life, so we do not need to compare ourselves to others, but it is important to wake up and live a life of purpose. As long as you are doing your best and focusing on good goals, you will have made the most of your ‘morning’. Proverbs often talk about life as a full day, where we work and plant in the morning, so we can rest and enjoy in the evening of old age. Even though we can choose to pause, reflect and make changes at any time of the year, most people do this in January and at birthdays, which we consider to be the beginning of a new year and chapter. Here are a few tips to help you make the most of this new beginning.
Start right - Make sure you are starting with the right motives and resources. Don’t just do something because everyone else is doing it. Think about what is good for you and your loved ones. Think about the big picture. Think long term. Don’t just make plans you have no hope of achieving. Think about your lifestyle, habits, energy, money and time. Make changes and start small where you have to. Starting right gives you a better chance of finishing well. Nothing good comes easy, but life is easier with wisdom. It is better to invest time planning, getting good counsel and training before you start an important venture, than to rush in - and out! Whether it is marriage, business, financial freedom, further education, children, travel, a new job, retirement or fitness you have planned for 2020, be wise and start right.
Start as you aim to go on - So many people lose steam for their new year’s resolutions by February because the goals were unrealistic or baseless. Think about what makes you happy and what motivates you. If you are not willing to sacrifice for your vision (e.g. of health or success), then it is unlikely that you will stick with the plan, because there will be tough days. No successful person ever made it because there were no challenges. If your goals are based on a bigger picture or conviction, they are more likely to get done. Even with the best will, change is always hard. Starting small and celebrating small victories can help you to achieve that bigger life goal. Whether it is losing weight, quitting smoking or gaining a PhD, it is best to break it down into smaller targets and daily habits that support your goal, instead of worrying about how fast you get there. As they say, ‘slow and steady wins the race’.
Start afresh - Some of us will not be making any major life changes in 2020, but we do not need to feel left out. There is always room for improvement - if we stop improving, we can start deteriorating. It is sometimes hard to find motivation to do better, especially when we find that ‘comfort zone’ that people talk about. You can start by asking yourself honestly why you do what you do, and why you do it the way you do. Hopefully, that will help you think of areas in your life and work that need improvement, or traditions we need to move on from. Whether you have been married for 30 years or employed for 20, there are many opportunities to gain a fresh perspective on things and make the most of the new year, if we want to. You do not know how much better it can be, until you open your mind to new ideas and embrace change where needed. Some say ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ - but please don’t let it get dusty either! Happy new year to us all.