Remember The Past, Work To The Future

by Jen Slayden on · 2 comments


Should old acquain­tance be for­got,
and never brought to mind ?
Should old acquain­tance be for­got,
and old lang syne ?

How many of you joined in the cho­rus of the pop­u­lar tune “Auld Lang Syne” when the clock struck mid­night on New Years? I know I did, and I have for years. But I never really under­stood the mean­ing behind the song until I looked a lit­tle fur­ther into the history.

The tune derives from a Scot­tish poet back in the 1700s, and the cho­rus poses a rhetor­i­cal ques­tion about whether or not it is okay to for­get old times and has been inter­preted in the end that peo­ple should never for­get long stand­ing friendships.

We could look to the old poem for wis­dom about long stand­ing habits in our own lives, where we pose the ques­tion to our­selves whether or not we for­get neg­a­tive pat­terns from the past year (or for some of us years) and try to focus on the positive.

All around the world peo­ple are mak­ing res­o­lu­tions and wip­ing the slate clean from 2012! A new year brings about a cer­tain moti­va­tion unpar­al­leled to other times of the year. Peo­ple are ready to recom­mit to mak­ing pos­i­tive change in their lives. Look no fur­ther than the local gym in Jan­u­ary, packed with eager participants.

But come March, how many are still attend­ing those classes? How many peo­ple are still eat­ing healthy, not smok­ing, work­ing hard to achieve their dreams? The default but­ton on many of us punches back in within a few months of moti­va­tion and we siz­zle out. How come?

I pro­pose that we look hard at the pat­terns we have woven into our world from the past. Just like the song, it may not nec­es­sar­ily be a good thing to for­get the neg­a­tive pat­terns of the past. It would be bet­ter to acknowl­edge those habits as an old friend. Maybe one you don’t like so much, but one that teaches you a les­son. For it is in mak­ing mis­takes and rec­og­niz­ing how NOT to do things that we finally achieve success.

Suc­cess comes from an inter­nal flame. How do you keep that fire roar­ing when your moti­va­tion starts to fiz­zle out?

A group of friends I know are pay­ing them­selves money for every mile they run. They will, in turn, use that money to buy race reg­is­tra­tions, new gear, new run­ning shoes, etc. I think the idea is bril­liant. I could use the same strat­egy for hours logged play­ing my cello, to buy new music or attend a camp.

The key is to dis­cover what moti­vates YOU. If it is fit­ting into that new out­fit, or going on vaca­tion with your fam­ily, weave that into your goals for the new year.

Mak­ing pos­i­tive change is vir­tu­ally impos­si­ble with­out sup­port. Per­haps that means find­ing friends who have sim­i­lar hopes for 2013 and form­ing a group to sup­port each other. It is much eas­ier to accom­plish your goals when you have some­one hold­ing you account­able. Many hands make light work right? At least it makes it feel a bit eas­ier mentally.

One thing that I find help­ful is to make a vision board. Not only is it fun cre­atively, but it gives me some­thing to look at every­day to reignite the moti­va­tion I feel at the start of every year. This is a great activ­ity for chil­dren and adults!

What helps moti­vate you to do the work of lead­ing a pos­i­tive, har­mo­nious life?

I take a cup of kind­ness, and wish you all a very healthy, happy, and bright 2013!

In Har­mony,

by Jen Slay­den

Jen Slay­den finds her har­mony in West­ern Mon­tana with her hus­band Mark, their three kids, and an out­door lov­ing black lab named Cody. Stop by and check out her life in music, words, and edu­ca­tion at Find Your Har­mony.
Jen Slayden
View all posts by Jen Slay­den

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