Use the Christmas holidays as a time for changing your life
By Sid Madge, Meee
With everything we’ve been through in 2020, and restrictions still in place for most of us, Christmas this year will have a different look and feel. It would be lovely to be able to pretend we can go back to ‘normal’ but considering the potential consequences this isn’t feasible. What we can do is make the decision to take a completely different approach. You can use time over the Christmas holidays to change your life – your personal life and your business life.
Isn’t it funny how so many of us are desperate to celebrate Christmas together even though it is a notoriously stressful time of year, even in ‘normal’ times? Eating too much, drinking too much and spending far too much money! Plus of course, a bit of family niggling and bickering.
Let’s make sure we kick off 2021 with a plan to make the changes we’ve been thinking about, but doing nothing about for years!
I believe that micro moments and tiny interventions are the best approach to change of any type. Forget about the bold proclamations and focus instead on lots of little shifts. To make 2021 your best year ever I’ve pulled together some micro moment ideas that might help. Some come from my ‘Meee in a Minute’ books. Each book offers 60 one-minute micro-ideas and insights that can help us to shift our mindset in our life, work and family. They are great little stocking fillers too (www.meeebooks.com/books/)
2020: a reassessment
Instead of watching TV after the Christmas dinner and quietly falling asleep why not assess 2020 with your family. Have you learned anything or discovered anything that was unexpected? Did you discover that actually you didn’t need to spend a lot of money to be OK? Did you miss your work, or did you discover that you would like to do something else?
Sure, it’s been a terrible year. And finding something useful or something you are grateful for may be hard, especially if you have lost loved ones or lost your job but see if you can find a silver lining somewhere.
Use those insights to map out a better 2021 and start a weekly gratitude practise. Just taking a few minutes each day or even every week to bring to mind what we are grateful for, can lift our mood and improve our health.
Do more of the simple things that makes you happy
Take a minute to consider where you found happiness this year? Before Covid we often thought that we would be happier with a better job, better health, more money, a bigger house, different relationships. What about now? Perhaps you’ve discovered that happiness is in the little moments – spending time with family, meeting friends (socially distanced of course), reading, listening to music, enjoying nice food or a good coffee.
If COVID-19 has taught us anything, surely, it’s to appreciate the simple things. Take a minute to write down a list of 10 things that make you happy. Make sure those are woven into your weekly life for 2021.
Stop worrying about the thing you’ll never do
We waste so much time musing over what we could or should do, even when we know in our heart that we probably never will. It’s time to lean into those energy drains and work out if they are important to you or not.
Instead of lamenting that you should walk for an hour a day or go to the gym three times a week, what will you do? Can you commit to a 20-minute walk? If you have no intention of doing either, then be honest with yourself. Use the energy you waste beating yourself up about the things you are not doing, to focus on what you will do.
Instead of getting weighed down with what you might do or should do purge yourself of all the things you definitely won’t do or don’t even want to do. Liberate yourself from the shoulds and coulds and focus on what you want and what you will do to make that happen.
Keep learning more
We live in weird times where lies and nonsense mix with genuine information which is making truth harder to access. And the uncertainty is playing havoc with our mental health. How many of us know someone who has fallen down a conspiracy theory rabbit hole on social media? Take a few minutes each week to turn off social media and instead dive into TED.
TED talks believe in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately the world. Use their ‘Surprise me’ feature where TED will randomly select a presentation for you to watch. Watch a different TED Talk every week. Read more books or enroll in an online course and broaden your horizons.
We can never truly know what we are passionate about or gifted in unless we experiment with new skills. FutureLearn.com or Udemy.com are great places to start and some of the courses are great value.
How do you want 2021 to be? We may not be able to travel as freely as we want physically but our mind is always open. We can travel anywhere with our mind. Use it to formulate a plan and begin. Begin a course, begin a job application, begin mapping out your business idea. Begin your exercise practise. Begin your meditation. Whatever you want for 2021 – begin it now.
Think about what help you need. People are receptive to helping out at this time of year, so ask for help if you need it, or contact people who may be able to lend a hand in the new year. Begin it. Take a minute to consider what you are putting off. Take one positive step toward that today and keep going.
2021 can be really different if you get started. You can start with small manageable changes and, as you keep going you’ll be amazed by what can happen.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sid Madge is founder of Meee (My Education Employment Enterprise) which draws on the best creativity and thinking from the worlds of branding, psychology, neuroscience, education and sociology, to help people achieve extraordinary lives.
To date, Meee has transformed the lives of over 20,000 people, from leaders of PLC’s and SME’s to parents, teachers, students, carers, the unemployed and prison inmates.
Sid Madge is also author of the ‘Meee in Minute’ series of books which each offer 60 ways to change your life, work-, or family-life in 60 seconds.