In some ways, post –
particularly the last part about resetting your day – is a natural counterpart
to my previous reflection, My
Start of the Week Epiphany. Both
emerge from that sense of feeling behind, of not having made enough progress,
being discontent with where we are at. I’m
not alone in this; a poignant Instagram thread earlier this week revealed that
many of us are feeling the same. Maybe
it’s something to do with this time of the year – a hangover from New Year, New
You too-high expectations. Maybe it’s
the product of our constantly striving, never satisfied society. Maybe it reflects the myriad pressures on
women in the twenty-first century, leaving us feeling like we’re never
enough. Maybe it’s an inevitable part of
the human condition. Whatever the cause,
I hope this posts offers a way of supporting your efforts to live life in
accordance with what you value.
It is fairly commonplace dieting advice that a bad morning
shouldn’t mean you abandon efforts for the rest of the day too. Attacking the biscuit tin at 11am is not an
excuse for giving up your eating plan during the afternoon and evening, goes
the argument. You don’t need to wait
until the next day, or even the next week, to start again.
I don’t hold much truck with dieting advice (or diets, for
that matter), but I’ve always liked this little gem. It seems that we humans have become peculiarly
attached to certain patterns of behaviour with regards to time (why else do we
lie defiantly in bed for two minutes until the alarm goes off at 7am, rather
than getting up at 6.58am?), but it doesn’t have to be that way. The dieting advice reminds us that slimming
efforts don’t have to begin at breakfast or a Monday morning. More broadly this is a useful lesson for us
all. We can start whenever we like. And if things don’t work out as we’d hoped
then we can start again whenever we like too.
The reset button is always there for us to hit.
The concept of the reset button can be particularly useful
at this time of year. If we made New
Year’s resolutions but haven’t implemented them as well as we wanted to then it
might be tempting to give up altogether until next January gives us another chance
to begin again with a clean slate. But
who wants to declare 2016 a failure after just three weeks?!
Even if you didn’t make any specific plans at the start of
the month, you may have other projects or goals that aren’t at the stage that
you would like them to be. Or perhaps
you’re just feeling a bit out of sorts, with a niggly sense that something that
helps your life to run more effectively isn’t in place (hello regular bedtime –
for children or adults!).
The concept of the reset button can help in all these
instances. Decide you’re going to hit it
and start over again in whatever way you need to. You don’t have to wait until Monday or
February or 2017! Imagine your hand
going out to push a big red button, the kind they have on TV talent shows. Press the buzzer and there you go – reset to
zero. You can begin again.
I’m doing my own reset today. The December holidays followed by some big
deadlines (and an addiction to Netflix’s Making
a Murderer) have affected my
usual daily routines for about a month now.
I’ve been later going to bed, thus finding it harder to get up in the
mornings. Combine this with wanting to
stay on top of the extra workload and my usual AM gym-going slot has been
squeezed out of the schedule too often.
But no more! The deadlines are
now out the way. The sleep element is
within my power to address: go to bed earlier, get up earlier. Simples, to use the advertising
What would you like to reset?
Maybe it’s health related, maybe it’s a household chore,
maybe it’s something you do with your family or at work. It doesn’t have to be complex: perhaps you
always cleared your car of rubbish when you came home at night but somehow
that’s slipped and now drinks cans are colonising your passenger footwell. Just imagine hitting the button and start the
desired behaviour over again.
What if you’re simply having a crap day? Then it’s possible to do a more general
‘Rubbish Day Reset’ too. Here’s how:
- First of all, are you hungry? Then get something to eat.
- If possible, go outside, even just for a few minutes, to get
some fresh air.
- Next step: go into the bathroom and wash your hands really
thoroughly (having clean hands helps everything feel better).
- Brush your teeth if you can (I’d recommend stashing a
toothbrush and paste at work if that’s feasible for you. Like washing your hands, a bit of super-basic
self-care can work wonders. Feeling
minty fresh throughout the afternoon has redeemed numerous off-par days for me).
- Take a few deep breaths.
- Straighten your clothes.
- Get a large glass of water and drink it. Whilst doing so, think of one thing that
you’re grateful for that day. Even on a
bad day that shouldn’t be *too* hard. If
you’re struggling, remember that you have access to clean running water!
Reset – and resume your day.
I’d love to hear how you got in if you tried to reset either
your day or something else. Get in touch
via Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest or
the A Life Of One’s Own Facebook page – or you can email (firstname.lastname@example.org).