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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