Optimistic I know – but you have to start sometime! It’s difficult to escape the “Groundhog Day” vignette or cameo being played out. It seems our whole lives are lived under an often-confused web of guidance, restrictions, and rules. Most of us had plans for this year that didn’t involve masks, hand gel, social distancing, and limiting contact with children, families, and friends. 

Each year we decide to boldly go where we have never gone before… except for the first few days or weeks of last year. You know you’re in trouble when your wife and children can repeat your New Year resolutions in joyful chorus. Whatever the goal, the murk and mist of pandemic related uncertainty can dampen our positivity and absorb much of our energy. So much is focused on what we can’t do. But there is much we can do; we have a choice.  

I recall when we had promised our kids a beach picnic and the Scottish summer weather showed up. So, we stayed home, built a beach hut with bedsheets and furniture, laid our picnic out on the living room floor and had the adventure anyway. We can still choose not to let circumstances dampen our enthusiasm and dictate our outcomes. We can always try to find ways to keep the adventure alive. 

I’ve been a bit more reflective over the Christmas break and considered what holds me back from enjoying a “breakthrough year”. Here’s some gleanings I found in a Harvard Business managers article by Neil Pasricha... We may not all have ‘manager’ in our job title, but we manage families, household duties, finances, relationships, and our time. I have to admit to being better at some than others, and that’s my challenge for 2022.  

Can I get a good strong start each day and become a master at managing my time? Can I finally escape the label of “could do better” when it comes to prioritising by doing the important things first, rather than get distracted by the assumed urgency of the buzz, ding or chime of emails, calls, texts, WhatsApp, whatever?  Well I’m going to give it a try. Here’s a portion of the article, it seems too simple until you really think it through: 

“How can you inject some optimism into your day? This two-minute exercise can help. Each morning, finish the following three sentences (either on paper, out loud, or even in your head) before you turn on your computer or start your commute: 

Today, I will focus on _____. 

Today, I am grateful for _____. 

Today, I will let go of _____. 

Ultimately, we’re only awake for an average of 1,000 minutes each day. If we can invest just two of them to prime our brains for positivity, then we’ll be helping ensure the quality of other 998 minutes.” 

This Two-Minute Morning Practice Will Make Your Day Better,” by Neil Pasricha 

*Good preparation and a strong start are important. As Abraham Lincoln said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe”. Off to put the kettle on!