Resolution for the New Year!
A sincere Happy New Year to all! If you have made it this far, it means that you have another chance to make it right and better your life this year in 2009.
I don’t know about you, but for me, I always get so excited receiving a New Year calendar or diary. I can’t wait to begin January 1st so I can list down all the things I would like to do. Many things on this list are things that I was not able to do last year, nor a year ago. Who knows how long I have been trying schedule a daily routine of exercise, learning a language, reading a book, building a relationship and so on…
What is amazing and also sad is that my calendar would only reach February and then the diary starts becoming scratch paper, where I write down notes and scribble down ideas. It seems like the days move faster than I can fill them up with appointments and activities, these things that I fail to have time to do. And when I fail to meet the times in my diary, I feel so guilty until I reach that point that I can’t bear to write a schedule into my diary anymore. Then I end up simply using my diary to make notes.
I am sure that I am not alone here and that most of you are in a similar situation. So, on this day, the first day of the New Year, I ask myself, “How do we actually keep up with time which moves so fast and manage to do all the important things that we want? We still need to be able to live a life without having to stress ourselves in rushing against time to catch up on the things that need doing.
The day, despite having only 24 hours, is perfect. Let’s not try to add to that, nor feel that the hours are not enough to do the things you want. All you need to do is not manage time but manage the events of the day. The day, although comprised of time, is also comprised of events. And events are more important that time. Time will be almost impossible to manage as it moves on and waits for no one. But your events can be moved around ever-moving time to suit us all perfectly. All you have to do is to be flexible with your events and make sure that those events fill out days. I have categorised events into three main sections:
1. The Important Matters
2. The Matters of No Importance
3. The Urgent Matters
The Important Matters
What are the important matters? I think of the important things as being the events that will be good for me, my family, and for others in the long-term. The things important to me are religion, love, relationships, health, wealth, community service etc.
These things are all important, but most of them seem to take a lesser priority against meeting with our daily matters, when we think about it, are really matters of no importance or urgent matters.
The Matters of No Importance
The way I see it, the matters of no importance are:
A. Gossiping, talking nonsense and criticism
B. Smoking and excessive drinking
C. Over-eating of unhealthy food
The Urgent Matters
Urgent matters are things that I failed to plan for in the past and are now catching up with me. These urgent matters force me into drastic measures and require me to call for help. These matters make me claim to others that they are ‘important’, like rental bills, credit card bills etc.
The thing to notice when looking at these three categories of events, is that the important matters are things important to your life, not just your day. By looking at it in this light, we come to the realisation that we are living a life, not just a day. Even when looking at my New Year calendar, although I am looking at a whole lot of days, I must remember that each day is not in isolation, but are small parts of my entire life.
If you write in your diary that at 6am you will exercise, but then you sleep in late, you feel guilty that you have not achieved what you wrote in your diary. You rush to get ready for work, have breakfast, and begin the next slot you have marked in your diary. The thing is, just because you didn’t manage to exercise in the allotted time, you must not feel guilty. Why not manage your events, rather than your time? Why not exercise later in the day? Look at your list of things to do and identify which are matters of no importance, which are urgent matters, and which are important matters.
It is the important matters and events that you should manage and treasure, so that just because you didn’t do an important event at a certain time it does not mean you forego the event.
Let us all take a moment to ponder… Live your life, not your day.
Take this opportunity to seize your New Year diary with hope and a sense of what it truly represents: a small chunk of your life full of events, not time. Use your time wisely, but manage your events as if your life depends on it… because your events are your life.
As Theodore Roosevelt once said: “Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.”
I wish you a happy and healthy life and a successful and prosperous New Year.
Group Managing Director, QI Ltd