Happy New Year, everyone!
It’s the Year of the Goat (Sheep in some countries like Japan) – my own zodiac sign! That’s why I placed a photo of a goat Pokémon, Gogoat, there. :p
I know this may seem to be a bit late, but for me, it is never too late to try and turn over a new leaf, and get out with the old and in with the new. After all, God Himself does not wait for any day or period to forgive us – not counting, of course, the fact that we need to humble ourselves and approach Him to say sorry for our sins. O:) But anyway.
It’s been terribly difficult not having a stable Internet connection and having a huge backlog that threatens to overcome your life, as it has done so for me too many times. That said, I intend to ensure it does not happen again, or at the least, that I minimize it.
There, I just said the first item on my New Year’s Resolution. I don’t really write down or explicitly consider these things, but I do make it a point to think of things I should cease to do, things I should keep doing, and things I should start doing.
With that, I share this link, an amazing and insightful article written by Larry Kim for The Huffington Post. The article describes 23 tips to achieve maximum productivity “for 2015”, but what the heck, it can be for any time. Some of them I take for granted, others I was kind of surprised to see, until I analyzed it and figured out that the author had a point indeed – such as the reading of the news and even the rejection of to-do apps, which I heavily rely on.
Don’t forget, of course, that your productivity should have a purpose, a purpose that involves not only you but others as well, and a purpose that is oriented towards only one direction: the greater glory of God.
At the same time, I also decided to make it a habit to be more reflective on my experiences. This is a very Ignatian practice, and one that Jesuit school students will know quite well; in high school, we had daily examen after lunch. I decided to make it more tangible, however, with this.
This contraption is what is called a “rememberlutions jar”, and the article in the aforementioned link talks about it. It’s a BuzzFeed creation, and in it, instead of making resolutions that may not be necessarily followed anyway, a person makes “rememberlutions”: things that make them happy throughout the year, documented in any way and placed in that little jar that, when reviewed at the end of 2015, will bring back a flood of positive, empowering memories.
Now, I intend to keep both resolutions and rememberlutions, but that’s not the point.
This is a good exercise, in my opinion, as it reminds us to look back on our experiences and be grateful for them – positive or negative. Things happen for a reason, and the one thing that every single experience grants us, however happy or frustrating it was, is learning. Whether or not you choose to filter the things that go into your rememberlutions jar, nothing will change the fact that all of those experiences, great or humble, impart some form of learning that can and should be used to direct future action. This is poignant particularly in the business of social development, where said future action can be a maker or a breaker.
I will admit that in the interests of productivity (or simply because I am quite lazy at time management), I have been sacrificing my health at times. Ironically, this goes against the principles of personal CSR, but we all need to make a little sacrifice if we’re working for the common good. It’s just that I tend to sacrifice the one thing that shouldn’t be sacrificed.
In Pokémon Gold, Silver, Crystal, HeartGold, and SoulSilver, Professor Elm’s wife tells the player that sometimes, the Professor gets so engrossed in his work he forgets to eat. I admit I am like that, too – but not so much on forgetting to eat as refusing to do so, at least on time. This is connected to #1: I don’t want to ruin the streak of concentration I already have, since it is difficult for me to get started on things (but once I do so, I get hooked), so I refuse to do anything else. Such as right now, when I should be asleep. (You may whack me now.)
Writing this down serves as a daily reminder to me that I should not take my health for granted, since it really is wealth – and without good health, I cannot even be productive or reflective. I learned this the hard way several times last year, to my detriment.
So I’ve just given a three-point New Year’s Resolution that may or may not be necessarily what is on others’ own resolutions. The important thing is to know your limitations and desires, and act on them. Think of what you can stop doing, what you should keep doing, and what you can start doing – all for the sake of becoming a better person. Gone are the days when we want to impress others; we should impress only God, and the best way of doing so is knowing ourselves. Make it personal. Make it you.
What do YOU resolve to do this 2015? Comment below!