I guess that there is some kind of special significance to the start of a week, month or year. Right now, we’re approaching the start of a whole new decade, so it carries so much more significance than any other year, because who wouldn’t make to start a change in their own life, that will impact them for the next ten years? That sounds so huge in and of itself!
So, like I do every year, I’ve started to think about the things that I want to stop and start doing, but this time, I’m aiming for massive impacts in my life – stuff that will impact the next ten years of my life (at least). However, when thinking about this, I want to take the time to acknowledge all the changes that I’ve already made happen in my life, both in the last ten years and in the last year… and I’d say, without thinking about it much, this last year has been the biggest one of this decade for me. In this last year alone, I’ve…
Left a job that whilst good, didn’t let me grow
Said “no” to work situations that were toxic
Started a new job that I love
Changed my daily (work) commute which I never thought I’d do
Said “no” to personal situations that were toxic
Stood up for what I believe in
Allowed myself time to relax
Did more of what made me happy
Went on several road trips with the kids
Took myself and the kids on some mini-vacations
Won some pretty impressive medals in a sport I love
Made lots of new friends
Asked for help when I needed it
Attended some amazing concerts where I happily danced and sung my arse off
Filed for divorce and had it granted
Stopped caring about what others thought of me
Loved myself more (scars and all)
Learnt new skills
Grown on my own spiritual journey (nope – not talking about religion here, but my own gifts and working with the universe)
Started this website
Started really believing in myself
Managed my finances better
Set myself huge goals and have started working on accomplishing them
Spoken the truth
Nurtured my relationship with each of my children
Allowed myself to be happy
Proven to myself that I can do anything that I set my mind to
Set boundaries and stuck to them
Refused to “settle”
Found my self worth
Said goodbye to everything (including people) that no longer serves purpose in my life
Forgiven and moved on
Pretty impressive list when I look back on it, and that’s not everything, but each one of those things were small steps, and each small step led to something huge. Some of them were conscious decisions and others not-so-much, but each of them made me who I am right now. And that person right now didn’t wait until the start of a year to set their intentions. In most cases I didn’t even wait until the start of the week. When enough is enough, there is no waiting. When a decision has been made, NOW is the perfect time to act on it.
Let me give you a wonderful example by my two younger children. Earlier this month, we went to a zoo where bicycle hire was part of the entry price to the zoo. It was a nice way to explore the zoo and be able to get to all the animals where you had to go along a long walking path, and it was faster than trying to walk the entire zoo, especially given the overall distance and the fact that I had little legs involved. So the morning of our visit, we made our way to the bike hire area and it was only then that my two younger kids looked at me with a slightly scared look on their faces, especially after we were told that none of the bikes had training wheels on them; They asked if I could hire a bike where they had a seat and didn’t have to peddle on their own. It took me a moment to realise that amongst all the things that did and didn’t happen in the last few years, my two younger kids were never shown or taught, how to ride a bicycle. It was only my eldest that had that pleasure. Needless to say that was one big “oh no” moment as I’m not one to normally forget things like that. Anyway, I showed the kids what the options were for bicycle hire. After some consideration and discussion, they both decided to just give it a go and try riding a bike on their own. Once that decision was made, I had every intention of using the entire day and taking it slow so that neither of them felt any pressure to get it right. I was also prepared to have one or both of them give up at some stage during the day, and my mind was already working out ways to work around any issues that we might encounter from learner riders.
The next part started out a bit wobbly. After walking our bikes through the entrance, I found an open flat area, where I could teach them how to ride, giving them time to practice, before we started moving between exhibits. As expected, there were failed attempts, some confusion, some grumbling and lots of explaining and demonstrating, but then we get to the part that I’m most proud of: When they both decided to really give it a go and not just give up.
Now riding a bicycle without training wheels wasn’t something that either of them had originally planned to do earlier that day. I mean, the thought of riding a bike for the first time was pretty daunting in and of itself. But after a few failed attempts something magical happened. My youngest simply told herself that she could do it, and off she went. It had been less than 30 minutes of trying, and she’d managed to work it out and was happily off riding! All by sheer determination and a change in her own mindset that went from “this is hard” to “I can and will do this”.
And it was only a few minutes later when my son got the hang of it, and was off riding on his own too.
We spent the next few hours riding around the zoo and visiting all the animal exhibits. We stopped for lunch and rested a few times, but there was no “rescuing” or plan B in use. Everyone had so much fun that they all pleaded with me to do it all again the following day (which we did).
It only goes to show you how amazing the mind is and what you can accomplish with a little bit of determination. You can do anything that you set your mind to and you don’t have to wait to the start of a new day, week or year to set those intentions. You can choose to go outside of your comfort zone at any time. You are in control of how you live your life – every minute of every day. And you should be proud of everything that you do accomplish, regardless of how big or small it is.
So with that, I invite you to not just start making changes in your life for today, tomorrow, next week, next year or the next decade… I also invite you to take the time to look back on all the wonderful things that you’ve accomplished and learnt so far. You’ll be amazed at how far you far you have come and that should be acknowledged. You’re an amazing person who has done so much and you can do so much more.
And if each of us are in control of our own lives, then how do you want your next decade to be? What and/or who, do you need to leave behind and what needs to be started or changed? And remember, right now, is as good a time as any.