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You’ll be standing on a bridge soon. The same bridge you stood on around this time last year. Asking yourself similar questions to those you asked yourself last year.
This bridge is the bridge of time leading from around Christmas Day 2020 to early January 2021. And when you do find yourself on this bridge, here are three things to think about. As you ponder the past. And fraternise with plans for the future.
Christmas is a great time of year for most. It’s time to pause and replay what happened in the previous year. Time to reflect on what you really should have done more of. And less off. And I suppose it’s time to wince at a few of the things you said and did too. And to hopefully pat yourself on the back about other things.
This bridge though. I think it’s a great place to stand and think about a few important principles that we sometimes forget during the year. Pillars of who we are – and how they affect our lives. Here are three of my favourites. Things that I think will help me as I approach 2021. Maybe they can help you too?
1. The pressure you find yourself under is either pressure that you pile on yourself. Or pressure you allow others to pile on you.
This may not ring true immediately. The bit about the pressure being piled on you - by you. Or that it’s your fault that others apply
pressure to you. But it is true. If you take responsibility for your own life, that is.
Here’s a reminder of what those pressured times feel like. It’s those times when you feel most panicky. Most insecure. Most upset, even. Because you’re imagining the worst things that can happen inside of, or as a result of, being in this pressured place. Or maybe you are wondering how on earth you ended up feeling like this. Yet again.
Well, the good news is that if you do recognise this feeling, and you want to change it, you can. All you have to do, as you stand on the bridge this year, is to make a decision. Make the decision that you want pressure in the coming year, as you stand in the calm of the bridge this year, to reduce. Then take responsibility. And make a plan.
This is a particularly important subject if you felt the same a year ago. And a good time to realise that the reason the pressure didn’t go away this year is because you didn’t decide to make it go away last year. You didn’t take responsibility. And you didn’t make a plan.
Well, this time. Stood on the bridge from 2020 to 2021. Maybe you should.
2. You should say ‘no’ more.
That work you did in 2020 that was not really good enough. Maybe because resources were too sparse. The deadline was too tight. Or because the vision was not communicated to you clearly enough. So that their desired outcome didn’t match your understanding of it.
Well, maybe you shouldn’t have done this work at all? Maybe you should have said ‘no’, instead.
Saying no to lots of things is probably not good. But some of the things that you said ‘yes’ to, you probably know that you shouldn’t have. And I reckon that, if you make the decision to say ‘no’ more in 2021. As you stand on the bridge this year. You’ll do better work in 2021. Simply by saying yes to the great opportunities. And no to the not so good ones.
And that’s not only good for you. It’s good for them, too.
3. You should turn your phone off more. A lot more.
Life is better with your phone off. Whether you’re in work or not in work. It just is.
If you turn your phone off for all but (say) 1 or 2 or 3, 1-hour long slots per day, life somehow gets a lot bigger. You notice more things. You have better conversations. You interact more fully. You live more.
And a good place to start turning your phone off is as you stand on this bridge. The bridge from the year you are in, to the next one.
Have a think about a workable ‘phone-off’ schedule for the new year. Then, if you’re feeling really enthused about living a more fulfilled and in-the-moment existence – double the ‘phone-off’ schedule.
The Bridge. It is a place you’ll be familiar with I am sure. An annual place for reflection and decision making. These are just three things for you to think about as you stand there. And if you do take responsibility for them, make good decisions, make good plans and stay consistent - you could be in for a very happy new year.