One Thing This Year

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Years past have gone by leaving memories in their wake.  Some of them were planned, coaxed or designed into being.  A few bombasted their way into my heart unexpectedly, forever leaving nooks where they lay cherished.  This year I would like to do something different.

For a long while, I’ve let the blog breathe in hibernation, while I concerned myself with being the best company for my ailing mother.  When she passed, I didn’t think to come back to blogging, though frequently I thought of writing about her, the lessons she passed on to her children and the world, the person she was and the life she fathered.  I would like one day to tell of how she died and the way every day towards the end she taught me how to live.

That is for another blog.  For today, I’d like to say welcome back, to me and Joyful adventures.  I also have a small announcement to make.  After many years of wondering how I would do it, I’ve launched into a new project that is about mutual development.  It’s self-development plus one.  Allow me to explain.

Have you ever thought it would be great to have a record of your effort at becoming a better person?  That someone can be there as a sound board to reflect back to you what you are doing right, wrong and encourages you to take the other step?  Or that someone close can be there to share the fruits of your efforts – the glory, the satisfaction, the joy of staying true to your promise?

This is a recurring wish for me.  I thought about writing letters to pass to a law firm who would only release the letters to me at a designated time in the future.  I’d open these despatches understanding that here is a person who is loving and kind, who had taken the time to cheer me along the journey.  I would write a letter in response, address it to the me-in-one-year, to send her a blast of love and support from the past.

Finally this year, I’m rolling it out – the One Thing This Year project – where I invite a few friends to witness my journey on an area of focus that I choose.  In return, I bear witness to them.  The how is up to each of us because I trust that even when we don’t have the answers, we have the ability to ask and find them.

Focus on One Thing.  Trust your wisdom.  Support the tribe.

In the path to becoming the one you intend to be, your best self, to practice alone can breed illusions, and it can be lonely.  This is why I created OTTY.  Not only to recognise the beauty and strengths of others as they continue to work on their commitment but to be privileged with a group of self-helping people reflecting back at me as well.  So there you have it, three components of OTTY.  The self as a teacher, The other as the reinforcer, and The lesson that comes from within.

OTTY 2018 starts March 1 and ends December 31.  Witness here.

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I set up the OTTY (One Thing This Year) Porgramme initially for myself, who after years of broken self-promises decided that I’m going to give everything I had for the one change that was going to change everything.

To say it was an interesting process is an overstatement.  It was the most menial thing.  One thing I did over and over and over again until I got sick of it.  I wallowed in that hole for a while, I don’t remember how long, and something strange happened.  I wanted to do that boring thing again.  It was a part of me now.  So I got out of the wallowing and into the doing effortlessly.

Let’s be clear.  Once I made the decision that I wanted to do it, the doing was effortless.  After so many years of trying something new, getting all the gear, psyching myself up, only to fall flat on my front teeth, I finally stuck to something.  I’m even getting better at it.

Whatever that ‘one thing’ could be for you, it’s alright if you start small.  It’s more than alright if you go at your own pace. With OTTY, I’ve developed a system over the years of how to incorporate these small yet significant changes into my life, giving it enough time to bloom, and me enough tenderness to allow for the new habit to penetrate and take root.

A few friends are on the programme with me and I’m reminded this week that the system won’t work for everyone at first, even though it had brought so much benefit to me.  I forget that I’ve been doing this for a while, and the more you are into something, you become more passionate about it, more invested, more excited to share with others.  For someone just starting out, all they really need to worry about is the essence of the programme.

That comes down to one simple idea.  You’ve probably figured out what that is 🙂

Indeed, small is significant.  What matters after you choose that one small thing is consistency.

When faced with any change, our sense of comfort and identity becomes challenged.  We resist with goliathan force.   Break the strategy for change down to the most important thing you can do that paves the way for everything else you need to do, cut that down to the smallest act, one that you can be sure to keep doing day after day.  Then one day, you’re there.

I’m already happy for you.