Now that the new calendar year has arrived, I’ve noticed just how much a ‘new year’ mentality can highjack your joy. It’s almost as if once the clock strikes 12pm on December 31, you expect your life to change, only to wake up the next day in the same situation.
I assume its because we spend so much time talking about how the next year will be our best year and all the things that we’re going to do.
Once we’re here, the pressure for change and productivity can feel stifling. Thats exactly why I’ve decided to combat that feeling in 2022 by implementing 3 simple rules to embrace the change of a new year.
The first rule I’ve decided to implement is the rule of mutual exclusivity, something I’ve taught myself to not believe in for the last few years. When a choice is mutually exclusive, it means that the two options cannot be done at the same time.
It doesn’t mean that both options could never be done in the same lifetime however.
For the last few years I believed in not ‘limiting’ myself and instead starting everything that I wanted to do immediately. I wanted to start a blog, start a business, move up in my work career, travel, read more and the list goes on. I found myself pulled in several different directions and seemingly getting no where with each pursuit.
This proved my initial theory wrong, I wasn’t limiting myself by not starting everything immediately and avoiding procrastination, I was limiting myself by creating my own time barriers.
After getting a business mentor, one of the first things I was told in our initial meeting is a great way to sum up the rule of mutual exclusivity.
After telling him my plans for the year and how ambitious I wanted to be in 2022, he told me “Either you can do it right, or you can do it right now but you can’t do both.” I don’t think I’ve heard truer words yet in 2022.
The truth is, success is not a quick process and it often requires choice. We simply cannot and should not try to do everything at the same time.
As Michelle Obama says “you can have it all, just not at the same time.”
The second rule I’m following for embracing change in the new year is embracing spontaneity. The productivity obsessed ambitious part of my brain is literally screaming as I type this but it’s true.
There are so many books on creating habits and productivity tips, but not very many people talk about the opportunities that exist behind serendipitous and spontaneous events. In fact, some of life’s greatest moments happen on a whim.
While this is not to discredit the importance of a well structured routine, it’s a reminder that there’s more to life than routines and productivity. Sometimes that thing that you’ve been hoping for requires you to step out of your routine.
So this is the year to practice that, say yes to the midweek happy hour, the spontaneous vacation and any other surprises that life may offer you. You never know the possibilities that lie behind one new decision.
My last rule for the new year is arguably the most important, which is living in the present and celebrating the now.
You’ve survived 100% of the obstacles that have been thrown at you, a global pandemic, financial crisis, betrayals, heartbreak, and more. After all of that this is where you are, reading an article on how to embrace change and new beginnings in 2022.
It may have not been the route that you would have taken if you had a choice, but it got you here and for that there’s a reason to be grateful. Take a second every morning and be grateful for the present. At one point you probably hoped to be in the position that you are in today, so embrace it.
This is your year, your rules, and your life. Happy New Year!