NEW YEAR, NEW YOU?

Silhouette of a woman standing in 2018 on the hill at nature

I’ve written a couple of texts on productivity. One was THE PROGRESS (RE)SOLUTION. The other was YOURS TO DO.

They’re the most popular at the beginning of the year. It doesn’t hurt that I run a sale on them. I will again this year.

As each year starts, we’re left to contend with how we fared last year and what we want from the next. Maybe you got far last year, maybe you didn’t. So what’s gonna change this next year…what can change?

A common analogy to use is that via tissue turnover, over time, we replace all parts of our body. In a very real way, we become a new person…kinda. We’re an iteration of what we were.

What we have done, what we have put into our body for raw materials, and where we have been all help to determine what kind of iteration we will become. And we’ll become either better…or worse. And what determines better or worse?

The pain sciences and the mental sciences measure one common thing to determine severity of conditions: functionality. How much a person does or doesn’t do tells us a lot about how much pain or how well they’re mentally functioning. In short, the more function, the better.

We don’t just want to be a new person. After all, we don’t want to be a worse version of ourselves. We want to be distinctively better.

Better entails two main divisions: feeling and doing. We want to do better and stop doing worse. We want to feel better and stop feeling worse.

While that seems simple enough, it’s far from easy. But becoming a new you requires a few birthing pains. But in order to do and feel our best, we have to minimize that pain of change.

A lot of people are selling (and we have been buying) that change is hard and painful. Big, positive change is. I think that’s why so few of us change for the better.

Positive change doesn’t have to be painful. But if it’s too big, it will be painful. So find the smallest positive change possible. Then the next time around, see if you can’t go bigger.

And sometimes positive change means not only doing more but doing less. And often doing less of something isn’t that easy. That’s when it’s time to once again turn to what you can do.

Sometimes the best way…and the only way…to stop doing what you don’t want to do is to displace it. There is only so much time in the day. You must displace what you don’t want to do with something you can do.

So what can you do? That is the question. And there’s a way to make that question even better.

Ask, what can I do that would make me feel better? And then follow it up with another question, now what can I do? As you feel better and do more, you become more than you were before. A new year can bring a new you.

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