Week 1 – Remember, Remember

January has always been associated with taking action. Resolve is in the air, carbs are out and gyms are full. Yet I’ve always been deeply suspicious of new year resolutions, particularly as research suggests that we dump resolutions by the third week of January. It seems we do this because they’re full of ‘must do’s’; ‘should do’s’ and things we didn’t get round to in 2010. How miserable! So January starts with reflection before action and we’ll see where we go through the month…This exercise is in two parts. Part 2 coming next week…

Part 1: Our memories are notoriously unreliable (see Daniel Gilbert, ‘Stumbling on Happiness‘) so get out your diary and look back on the year. Starting from January 2010, highlight all the events or situations that tick some, or all, of these boxes:

  • You enjoyed doing/taking part/attending (it was fun; interesting; made you smile);
  • On reflection, you felt a deep sense of satisfaction having done it (even if it was hard at the time);
  • The people you were with at the time were interesting/loving/different;
  • It sparked a sense of curiosity, made you want to know more, there was a sense of learning;
  • It induced a great sense of calm, of peace;
  • Whatever you were doing made you feel like a better person;
  • Whatever you were doing made a positive difference to someone else;
  • You wished you had a longer time to spend there or with someone (the time felt all too short);
  • You know you want to do it again…

Spend some time doing this. The science of positive reminiscence is all about taking your time, savouring what you are doing and luxuriating in the moment. Before you succumb to today’s papers (sitting in front of me at the moment mine says “eat well; sleep well; exercise more; find inner calm” yikes), visualise your happiest moments in 2010, write them down (that’s important) and next week we’ll do something with it.

Lastly, just something to make you laugh. I love this clip!

Bye for now. Happy new year!

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About positiveinsights

serial juggler; trainer; coach; mum; positive psychologist; elvis backing singer (yes really); writer; well-being curriculum designer; perennial pragmatist; triathlete in training...
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3 Responses to Week 1 – Remember, Remember

  1. Sue says:

    Fantastic exercise and love the video – thanks!

  2. You’re so right about the ‘shoulds’ etc. And how easy it is to gloss over or forget all the good that has happened in the year. Thanks for giving me another opportunity to reminisce about all the positive things.

  3. annrachel says:

    What a wonderful exercise… Reflecting on last year was leaving me feeling a bit weary. It had been a great year with lots of interesting projects and work to do but this meant that I had been in ‘head down’ and “pedalling to keep up”mode. Looking through my 2010 diary with your PP questions to hand made me realise that a number of these fun, interesting, learning – filled, satisfying and savouring the moment acivitivities had been squeezed out of my days which no doubt accounted for some of my ‘weariness’!! The list has helped me be clear on what I want to include in 2011 so that I keep my energy levels and creativity up and enjoy the benefits of having all those lovley PP things back in my life again!

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