OK, so this isn’t exactly a traditional Christmas post. But it’s something that bugs me from time to time (probably because I’m massively guilty of this myself and need the reminder!!) and it feels really apt as we get ready for that big ‘end of one year, beginning of the new’ milestone that is New Year.
I love New Year. Fresh starts. Clean slates. All that jazz. (I get a similar (albeit smaller) feeling on a Monday morning. The sense of expectation. That yes, this is going to be amazing and totally rock!
Until it doesn’t!
But here’s the thing … January 1st … it’s just a day. Yes, we usually enjoy a nice family meal (although this year I’m going to have to cook it in my own house – what’s that about mum?!? ;)) and yes, traditionally at least, lots of people have a lie in after staying up late to yell in each other’s faces “Happy New Year!” and sing that Scottish song that no-one knows all the words to.
But aside from all that stuff, it’s still just a day.
It’s like that idea that you must start your new diet on a Monday. Why?!? Why can’t it just start? Unless of course you want the days leading up to Monday as a chance to eat all the stuff you’ll be refusing yourself once you start the aforementioned diet. “This is it, no more chocolate, so I might as well eat two pounds of the stuff in the next 53 hours while I can!”
And yes, you’re right, I’m not a massive fan of diets. They make you fat. But that’s a whole other blog post!
But what if there was no one best day for stuff?
What if every day was just a day and on that day we just did our thing?
No tomorrow. No fresh starts. No ‘I’ll just read up on this thing so I know how to do it best and then I’ll think about starting for a little bit before finally realising that it’s late now so I might as well leave it.”
What if we stopped reading, stopped learning, stopped consuming, and just started, right now?
(And yes, I do totally see the irony in my asking that question in a blog post that you are probably reading instead of doing!)
I see (and am guilty of) this from a couple of different perspectives.
With business stuff, there is just so much out there to learn. I could spend a whole lifetime learning how best to plan, market and sell in my business. Courses to attend. Homework from said courses. Planning. Introspection.
And don’t get me wrong, those things are great. I’ve worked with some wonderful people this year and built amazing relationships as a result of doing courses.
But if all I do is learn more and more and never actually put any of it into action, how well do you think my business will do in 2013?
But even more tragically, I see it in life too.
I have book shelves heaving with content. I could literally lose the next two years of my life to going back and reading that stuff.
Personal development books. Parenting how-tos. Whole forests worth of spiritual books. And yes, there is some great advice in each and every one of them (well, maybe not every single one. My official guide to Doctor Who is pure fun!) but the idea that keeps rattling around in my brain is that of knowledge versus experience.
I love learning and knowledge is fascinating to me. But there is nothing quite like the experience of biting into that juicy fresh peach on a warm sunny afternoon and feeling the juice squirt out the sides!
I want every day to be full of ‘juice squirting out the sides’ moments.
And that doesn’t come from learning more. It comes from living more.
I don’t want to learn more about Jesus from those books on my shelf. If I read a book, I want to read it because it will help me to share a juicy peach moment with him.
I don’t need more knowledge about how to best raise my children to be the loving, well-rounded, fun-loving individuals they are. If I read a parenting book, I expect it to help me giggle with them.
I’m done with reading blog posts because I’m procrastinating and putting off living life. Instead, I want to just live it. So if I read a blog post, it will be because it has something in there that will inspire, motivate or give me the kick up the arse I need to actually get out there and start doing.
And that starts today. With this post that you’re reading right now.
I will never again write something just because I’ve said I will. No more filler text or meaningless words.
Instead, I write because I have something that will inspire you to action. That is my promise to you. Starting right now.
So now it’s your move. It’s time to stop learning and start living.
Make your move gorgeous.
Go on … I dare you! 😉
Love El x