The most common advice you will hear is to do more sports. Well, yes but what do you do if you are not that into sports and don't want to start something? It was me in early 2012. I was young, and I was on my semester abroad, and I had to do something.
I want to tackle the new year with a similar mindset but keep some of those things I learned and picked up in 2016. Since this might be interesting to some of you, I wanted to share these things. I documented most of them in the last 50+ posts I wrote this year (another habit which I will continue), so this is just a summary of the most important ones that are here to stay.
To get this out of the way first: I'm not an Americanist, I'm not even that interested in politics and I'm German, so please take my writing with a grain of salt.
Then why bother writing about the result of the possibly biggest election this decade? I'm not sure but through Social Media and global broadcasting I feel somehow part of what goes on and I see a lot of people outraged about the result even though Donald Trump haven't even started his new job.
I knew early on, what I liked and wanted to do later in life so I focused on it for years and years, so there are exceptional benefits to that approach. I can make a living and pursue hobbies with incredible efficiency. It gives me the freedom to take new approaches and invest time that I save on other ends.
So my major advice on being efficient is to really know your stuff to a nano-degree. This will give you the possibility to engineer everything to it's maximum potential and take it to the automated high ground.
His philosophy is timeless
The reason why I'd like to share my thoughts on this is that I believe his philosophy and life can be an inspiration for a much wider audience. We can adjust and improve our everyday life if we take a few hints from the lessons provided in the podcast regardless of our affiliation with martial arts or Bruce Lee.
It's Monday morning, the best thing for many people is the first sip of hot coffee when they start their week. I've been a part of this cult for more than a decade. A short trip to Colombia this year didn't help my "addiction". But for more then two weeks I've been abstinent from the black goodness and I recommend that you should at least try it too, to get to know what your body actually feels like in its natural state.
You might know the feeling that when you enter a room and you get a sense of it or you really know when your best friend is sad although she might not be showing it. That is your EQ telling you something is wrong with how things seem to be and how you percieve them. This is important, because it gives you context and can serve as a conversation starter.
That is the reason why I want to share some examples on how listening can benefit your daily life on this Monday.
It is a simple framing method, but one that is very powerful: "Don't work for the weekend". It means that I often encounter the mindset of: Thank God, it's finally Friday! Off to the weekend!
Of course, I'm excited too, don't get me wrong, but on a Sunday evening I think: What a great weekend, but finally I can work again tomorrow! I know, it sounds odd, especially for people who live the above. But stay with me for a moment.
I've been thinking about habits lately and how I design my goals so that I keep on going forward. The most basic change I've made over the last decade or so is that I stopped setting milestones extraordinarily high. There might still be overall goals that are partnered with me for life, but on a daily basis, I've gotten far more realistic. Translating goals and achievments into habits is crucial to see it through. So anything that you want to succeed in, start with just 10-20 minutes a day.
So, why was meditation even on the list for 2016? Well, good question. I've always been a fan of thinking, creativity and stoisism. So the art of meditating, becoming one with the mind, being calm with a razor sharp focus is a very nice aspiration for me. As a natural introvert I also enjoy activities that does not include a social paradigm, something that can be done anywhere, anytime without anyone else. So, meditation is basically the perfect set up.
Learning something new and trying to teach it yourself takes time and effort, it's a marathon and not a sprint. Usually I set a date of 10 days in a row to test my determination and applicability in my daily routines. If something does not fit in or simply lost my interest in that period, I won't continue. If I can keep it, I'll integrate it. Don't get me wrong, when you want something badly but stop after three days, that doesn't mean you should give up, but sometimes there are things that you'd like to accomplish but somehow it just won't land or you are just not ready for it. So determination in itself is the test.
In December I wrote about my opinion on new year's resolutions and I stand by it. That also means, that to trigger action, you need motivation and a goal. Your set goals shouldn't be all about "this year I will be..." or "in the next 12 months....". It's important to have smart successes on the way, so think about goals within closer range "by the end of January I want to have done...", "in my first week of work in 2016 I want to accomplish...". Setting short term goals will keep you motivated and give you a chance of early milestones that will help setting you on the right track for 2016.
So first off, I personally like making New Year's resolutions (yes, plural) but over the years I realized that I never really take off with my plans. So every year started with false promises and ended somehow in oblivion. That doesn't necessarily means I'm a bad person, it just means that this concept just didn't work for me, so I opted for a different approach.
I was always more intersted in the future than in the past. Although history lessons can give us some valuable advice on how things worked out, but all those events are fixed in time and will probably never happen again, at least that's not likely.
With that in mind, what would you say is your personal pitch as a human, an employee or a friend? Does you list only contain things from the past or do you value your aspirations in the future as well or even more?