It's About Time
Use hindsight to get ahead
Do you find that this year is passing as fast as the last? Do you desire to "carpe annum" (seize the year) and not let it just pass you by?
I'd like to share a simple mental exercise that I began in January. It's making a difference by changing the status quo of how I live my life.
It's a takeoff on "If I could live my life over again" reflections. Reading those made me think about what I'd do differently, but never resulted in any real change in my behavior.
To bring it down to a more immediate level, I've been asking myself, "If I could live last YEAR over again, what would I do differently?" I found it easy to recall the highlights and low-lights of the year just past.
Among the highlights were special experiences I would want repeated -- things like finally making certain home improvements, steadily purging and simplifying my home, asking talented friends for help, working on a project with a partner, calling friends and family on the mainland, celebrating my grandson's second birthday in Boston, getting together with high school friends in Seattle, and climbing the rocky face of Makapuu mountain every month with a friend.
Those were satisfying memories that I want to expand upon this year.
Among the low-lights -- regrettable decisions made and things I did or didn't do. Those regrets ranged from time and money wasters to sorrows.
If I could live last year over, I would listen more to my gut instinct on certain matters, follow up better on good intentions, keep in better touch with friends and relatives, be more disciplined regarding my schedule, remember birthdays better, not waste food and not waste time in front of the TV, to name a few.
I asked a friend what she would change about last year. Without hesitation she answered that she wouldn't overspend on Christmas gifts or go off her diet.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing. It's too bad it happens after the fact! I don't think anyone can live life perfectly, without doing or saying anything they later regret. That's a part of life, but it doesn't mean that we have to repeat our regrets.
I encourage you to take a few minutes and ask yourself, "If I could live last year over again, what would I do differently?" and "What would I want to repeat?"
No matter how satisfying or lacking last year was, by evaluating it we can make this year more fulfilling. It's time well spent!
See you in two weeks!
"It's About Time," by Ruth Wong
, owner of Organization Plus, runs the fourth Friday of each month. Contact her at "It's About Time," care of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, Honolulu 96813; or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org