While we may not always have the opportunity to find,
at the needed time, a quiet place to just “be,”
the advice is worth heeding. Stop. Be. Reset.
I wrote the words above in October of this year (Hit the Reset Button). The reminder was to slow down and take a breath. Now that another semester is in the books, it’s time to reflect, refresh, and renew for the coming year. I have graded the last final exam, posted the grades and revised my syllabi for the coming semester. Time to stop, be, and reset.
In keeping with this theme of reflecting, I will leave you with one strategy, one announcement, and one reminder.
The Strategy: What Have I Done With 2011?
Sometimes at the end of a year (or a semester; or a particularly long project) we might be tempted to sigh, “I am glad that’s over. Let’s move on to the next one.” I remember at a New Year’s Eve party many years ago, someone going through the ritual of burning her calendar for the ending year. It was for this person a cleansing experience and a way of saying good riddance to the previous twelve months.
For me, rather than burn it, I plan to print out the entirety of my Outlook 2011 calendar. I will then sit down and take time to review what I did (and did not) do. I will look at each project, each task, and each appointment and ask myself some basic questions:
- Was the time and effort worth the return (emotionally, socially, physically, spiritually, and financially)?
- Was I passionate about what I did? Did it bring joy?
- Were my relationships energizing—or did I end up with too many energy vampires in my life? And—was I an energy vampire for those around me?
- Did I take time for the people who are really important in my life? Or was it all about me?
- Did I take care of my personal wellbeing?
- Did I use my talents for the best possible purposes to serve those around me? Did I end up being redundantly mediocre or remarkably consistent?
- Did I give back to my community?
Rather than “burn” the year to a pile of ashes, I want to burn 2011 into my memory so that I can become a better person for it in 2012.
As a side note, next week’s blog post will be the last for 2011. I will post a retrospective of my 2011 posts (with a short summary of each one and a link to each post). It will provide its own review of the year for you.
The Announcement: A New Book
One of my major projects for 2011 was the writing of (and completion of) my ninth book: Study Skills: Do I Really Need This Stuff? (3rd edition, Pearson Education). I lived and breathed this project for the better part of ten months of my life. I am thankful to Pearson Education for the opportunity to publish one more book. (It is one of the projects I will put under the microscope in my end-of-the year review.) You will learn more about the lessons and strategies from the book during the first few months of 2012. Ordering information will be provided at that time. If you just can’t wait, there is pre-order information at Amazon and Barnes and Nobel. 🙂
The Reminder: Count My Blessings
This morning, shortly after a beautiful sunrise, my wife and I rode our bikes on the beach. The morning sun shined brightly in a bright blue Florida sky. The ocean waves washed up on the sand; birds fluttered above; and the community awakened for a new day. It reminded me of the many blessings I have—we all have. Yes, there might be crud tumbling all around us. From the economy to foreign wars, we might sometimes feel like curling up in the fetal position and hope it all goes away. Rick Hanson tells us in Buddha’s Brain that our brains can be Teflon for positive and Velcro for negative. We can very easily get caught up in the drama of life and forget that there are great things happening all around us—to us, because of us, or in spite of us.
Happy holidays to you and your family.
Enjoy your week—and H.T.R.B. as needed!
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© 2011. Steve Piscitelli and Steve Piscitelli’s Blog.