One thing at a time for 2016

Columnist Carolyn Aldis
Columnist Carolyn Aldis
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So, the presents have been exchanged, the food has been devoured in vast quantities and we are now in the no man’s land between Christmas and New Year…the relatives have got to the end of their welcome and gone home and I find myself thinking about the past year and how things have changed in the world and in my own little world.

The world is an unstable place at the moment, due to the unrest in the Middle East and the threat of terrorism. In my world, it’s the advancing wave of secularism that constantly undermines my beliefs and threatens all that I stand for…Happy Holidays replacing Happy Christmas as a greeting, nativities that don’t feature the birth of Christ and commercialism taking over the simple Christmas message of love and generosity, to name just a few. I have to edit my blog carefully, so that I can be honest without causing offence, which is difficult because I follow Someone who caused offence to many, simply by hanging out with what was perceived to be the wrong type of person…

Some change is good. Some change isn’t so good. Let’s focus on the good.

At this time of year, it’s usual to make New Year’s Resolutions. In the past, it has been too easy to make ridiculously unrealistic ones, setting the bar far too high and knowing full well that within a week, instead of jumping over it and succeeding, I would be doing a fat belly flop of a limbo to get underneath it and feel defeated. My New Year’s resolutions were always the same:

1: Lose weight by eating only healthy food.

2: Never eat chocolate again (like THAT’S going to happen).

3: Do more exercise.

4: Don’t gossip about anyone.

Every time I would fail and to be honest, January is a depressing enough month as it is, without the added burden of guilt.

So, no more. A well-known shop had a campaign a while ago about changing 1 thing in your life to make it better…whether it was to stop smoking, or limit your alcohol intake, or to bring exercise into your daily routine. They suggested choosing 1 thing and working really hard to make it a new habit, the idea being that once you have achieved that goal, you would feel such a sense of achievement, you can then tackle the next one. Like the old joke “How do you eat an elephant?” “A little bit at a time”, by focusing on 1 thing, you were more likely to succeed. Sounds like a plan.

So at the start of 2016, the first of the many things that need tackling for me is to get rid of what I like to call “stinking thinking” – that is, getting control of what I am thinking about by focusing on the positive and chucking out the negative. This 1 thing alone has the power to change my life for the better and once I have nailed it, I will be in a better position to tackle the next problem…

Try it…our world could look so different in 2016.