Instead Of Resolutions, Do This: Two Magic Words

Start now. Start where you are. Start with fear. Start with pain. Start with doubt. Start with hands shaking. Start with voice trembling but start. Start and don’t stop. Start where you are, with what you have. Just . . . Start.

—Ijeoma Umebinyuo

Are you like me? It’s the New Year. Time for a fresh start. Adventures and growth. A new beginning. And I make those resolutions, only to find them tossed aside by the end of January. Or sooner. I’ve even worked with goals. Posted them on the kitchen calendar, only to find them at year’s end, buried under a pile of More Important Post It Notes. What’s with that?

And it doesn’t have to be New Year’s. It can be a birthday. Or a Monday. Or the first of the month. Whatever it may be, this turn of the mind signals a new beginning. But my mind may or may not cooperate with something new. This morning I was going for my early morning walk as I usually do. But I made the mistake of looking at the temperature. Brrrr. -4 degrees. Not a good thing. Negative Nellie, that little stubborn donkey in my mind, started in. “It’s far too cold. There’s probably ice on the road. What about frostbite? Do you have enough on to stay warm?” The list was endless. Result? I didn’t go. And felt like a failure, for I have consistently walked in all sorts of weather. But not this time.

I tried to console myself (“After all, you did shovel snow in 10 degree weather.”) But that wasn’t enough for the gloomy part inside of me. Not hardly, for the resistant nattering went on and on. This self-talk almost derailed the entire day. Projects awaited, ready for completion. The home place always needs a cleaning. There’s a book I need to read. After all, I let myself down earlier. Why not continue?

That’s where these two magic words came into play. Begin again. Stop with the back sliding and dig my toes in ten feet deep. Focus. Start with one thing. And see it to completion. If my mind begins to wander, I write down what I’m thinking about (or remembering to do) and continue on. I have a non-electronic PDA, my trusty 5×7″ spiral bound notebook tucked into my purse. Anything extraneous that needs to be done goes into this little treasure.

This way of tracking myself began many years ago. I was in Walmart, with my multiple Post It notes stuck together. The lady behind the Customer Service counter looked at me and said I needed one “of these.” She pulled the prototype of my PDA from her pocket, remarking it wasn’t that expensive.

And it dawned on me there was another way of running my life.

Begin again. I could simply start over. Right then and there. I don’t have to wait for any special moment to start anew. Gone on an eating binge over the holidays? I can stop at 7:12 pm on December 29th and begin again. Having an argument with someone? I can take a deep breath, consider my options and begin again. Or postpone the discussion until cooler heads prevail. What magic in those words. Bring on the New Year. I’m ready!

When you get off track, how do you reset your goals? Is it working for you? If not, use these two little words, begin again, and watch the process unfold. Enjoy the little things on the Mountain and live unstuck. May 2019 be filled with new wonders and delightful adventures for you!

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