July 20, 2015
Filed In: Philosophy
I keep rigorous track of my goals throughout the year. I've mentioned before that I use the HabitList app on my phone in order to keep tabs on how well I'm doing. HabitList uses a method called streaking in which the user attempts to repeat the same task for consecutive days with the goal of achieving the longest streak of days. After extended periods of failure and defeat, however, streaking can work against me. If I see that it's been a while since I've done a particular task, then I'm less inclined to do it. I fall victim to "one more day” thinking, in which it doesn’t matter if I skip today, because I can always do it tomorrow. Sometimes in life, and especially in the pursuit of a goal, it's ok to reset the clock.
We all love the hope of a new year. The big blank canvas with a new beginning ahead of us is not only refreshing, it's motivational. We believe again that we can do anything and that pushes us to go out and reach for our dreams. Resetting the clock in the middle of a game can do the same thing. By resetting your trackers and giving yourself grace for the time and distance lost, you give yourself a new chance to go out and win. The blank canvas doesn't judge you, the 0 is your new shot at getting it done.
I have a tendency to fixate on the past. I analyze mistakes and get a little disheartened thinking about all of the ground that I've lost. By taking advantage of an occasional reset, I give myself permission to accept the past as reality, and more importantly, to blaze a new path forward. The past will hold you back any chance it gets, especially if it was riddled with failure. Instead of giving it that power, seize today and move on.
There are plenty of cliches surrounding new days and I think that subscribing to a few is actually a good idea. Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Today is a new beginning. Today is your best chance at making a difference. We can't do anything about yesterday or tomorrow, we only have control over today. Through the process of a reset, we get a chance to do things right, to work on the plan that we laid out, and to change our lives for the better.
When you find yourself at the end of a disastrous run towards your goals, take a break, give yourself some grace, and give yourself the gift of a reset. The only person who can change you is you, and you'll never effect that change if you're too busy worrying about how you failed yesterday.