Sunday, January 01, 2006

Celebrating New Year !!!

I love it when something I have been writing falls nicely in place.
I wanted to write a piece for the ‘Celebrating New Year’ thing and with New Year resolutions being so closely tied to this event, I found this blog that I have been writing for a while to be a perfect and meaningful complement to this subject. Simply love it when that happens.


What Matters Most to You

“Why can’t we buy the Plain Dealer (our local daily)? “ asked my wife with genuine curiosity.

That seems like a good idea but we don’t have the time to spend reading it everyday, dear. “Well, shouldn’t we be making the time to read it then” replied my wife and that segways us to the core of an issue that plagues many people called the “I don’t have enough time” syndrome.

While everyone in this planet has only 24 hours in their day, some seem to accomplish more than the others. Some seem to be more content and fulfilled with their daily activities than the others. What is their secret?

The key is prioritization of the activities. We all have more things to do than we have the time for. However, if you look closely at each one of them, you will find that accomplishing some will mean more to you or will have the highest impact or fulfillment in your life than others. Lots of them are mundane activities like paying the bills, cleaning the dishes (although done mindfully, it can be a very meditative experience as it is for Dr. Weil, he once mentioned) and so on.

But there are time sucker activities that we mistake for “have-to-done” activities simply because we are habituated to them. Like watching television, reading a newspaper (I’m not saying reading is bad, more on this later), playing a video-game, gossiping, window shopping, internet surfing and so on.

Rather than stare at the mindless TV shows or worse a re-run of them, taking the time to exercise for 30 minutes, playing or learning to play a new game like tennis or softball or bowling, taking the pet out to the park, reading/talking to your child, having some meaningful family time every day, taking the time to solve a crossword puzzle, engaging in your hobby activity and if you don’t have one, find one you would love to do (it’s never too late – you might end up living till 100, ya know ;-)), taking a stroll in the nature, talking to your long distance friends and family, volunteering for a cause that matters to you, learning some healthy, nutritious recipes, taking a class at a local college on something you like to learn new or to improve existing skill (learning a language is fun for some, I recently came across a language called ‘Esperanto’ – it is a constructed language that is only a 100 some years old and is supposedly very easy to learn and has a nice network of people around the world and you can even stay with them for free when you visit their country. Lovely. Check it out.), relaxing your body and mind by learning techniques like yoga or tai-chi, or just simply not engaging in anything and be in silence for 30 minutes and you know where I am going with this, any such activity will nourish your body, mind and soul and help you to be true to yourSelf.

May I also remind you that not all of the above mentioned tasks are meaningful and fulfilling to all of us, each of us have to decide for ourselves and only we can know which ones are meaningful in our lives.

The more “meaningful-to-you” activities you engage in, the more satisfying your life will be and the lesser you will care about not getting the “other” tasks done.

Planning Ahead

The secret is in knowing what the “What matters most to me” tasks are and then prioritizing/balancing them with your mundane tasks. This can only be accomplished if you plan your tasks ahead as opposed to doing things on the spur of the moment.

Unless you make it clear to yourself what those “high value” tasks are beforehand, you will be swayed by those trivial tasks throughout the day and your life and leave you wondering at 60 “Gosh, I wish I spent more time with my kids or learnt to do or tried my hand at ”.

Now you may wonder, wouldn’t I know when I come across these trivial tasks and avoid them. Well, you know the answer to that. If you don’t and are not sure, just jot down the activities that you did for the past week and check it out for yourself. Well, even if you catch yourself about to do an unimportant task and steer yourself away from it, where would you steer yourself to? That’s why sitting down and planning your activities ahead is critical.


“Miss a day. Miss a lot”, proclaims our local daily newspaper.
I am sure, I would miss a lot but the question is Does it matter? I can’t seem to flip through and come across one page (other than an Ad page) that is without negativity. I certainly don’t need that.
I better miss a lot.

Happy New Year to everyone!
My Best wishes to all of you as you make your “meaningful” New Year resolutions this year!!!


P.S. If you would like get some help in accomplishing your new year resolutions, write them down, share them with a friend, come up with a plan, write that down too, commit to achieving them, write down your commitment too. This will empower your resolutions quite a bit.
There is a link to join the Yahoo groups for this very purpose, if you like.

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Comments:
Incidentally, my resolution for this year, made mid-December is to cut down on unnecessary activity. We are often so busy doing meaningless things. Just a few minutes being still and silent is worth much more than hours of empty busyness.
 
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