Christmas is in the shops, signalling the end of yet another year. If your heart lurches at the thought, then it could be joy for a special holiday, or dread of the manic lead-up weeks, or perhaps it's anticipatory indigestion from over-indulgence.
However you view it, the calendar is about to roll over another number. New Year's resolutions are just around the corner, with the usual grand intentions of making the coming year better than the last.
In the heat of holiday optimism we imagine that almost anything is possible, yet, with the best will in the world, most New Year's promises are broken by mid February. It’s as though having dragged out the same old Christmas decorations, we feel obliged to do the same with New Year’s resolutions. It’s part of the season. Bring them out, give them a shake, admire for a few weeks and then put them back in the cupboard until next year.
It’s hardly surprising that many folk have stopped making them.
So why think about this now? Because deciding to change your life doesn’t need to wait for New Year. You can make that Bold decision any time you like. Every day now takes you closer. In fact I dare you to start early, that way if you do fizzle in mid February, you’ll have made substantial progress.
In 2014, Shonda Rhimes, the writer of many well known tv series, including Grey’s Anatomy, committed to a year of Saying Yes. She’d realised that her life was all work and kids, and that she was always saying no to everything outside of that. So she deliberately began to say yes, especially to things that scared her, like having difficult conversations and choosing more play and less work.
A year of saying Yes? A year of being adventurous? A year of trying new things? Sounds like a very Bold challenge to me!
Know why your decision matters, before wondering how to get there. Getting clear about the end game gives you many more choices. If you want to be more adventurous, then there will be many paths to get there. Perhaps learning a new language, or getting fit for a trip or joining a group.
Real change requires disturbance. Are you up for that? If you decide to go walking three mornings a week, what will you give up to do so? If you value your sleep in, or your early morning coffee over the newspaper more, then how will you adjust? If the change you seek doesn’t fit with the bigger picture of your life, then it’s just talk.
You are not alone! Bold moves need all the support we can rally. Friends, coaches, forums and apps, whatever works for you. And sometimes the best is support is someone we can check in with on a daily basis, to say ‘Yes, I did my best on this one today!’
Whatever your commitment, choose carefully. Be sure that it’s what you really want. As the actress Lily Tomlin said ‘All my life, I've always wanted to be somebody, but I see now I should have been more specific’.