by Karine Tovmassian
The first panic sets in right about in March, when we realize January is long past. But we
continue to mire ourselves in the worry and the weight of everything that is not what we want.
The second panic, usually around the end of May/June, is when we hear someone say “half the
year has gone by already” and we get the sinking feeling we haven’t done a single thing to
push us out of last year’s funk which we hoped and prayed would be whisked away Dec 31st
last. The third panic comes after Halloween, when suddenly the nonsense about candy and
Thanksgiving comes at us, wave after wave of items made in China, recipes we will never make,
and the persistent bombardment of information promising us a fresh glimpse into a new life if
we did the one thing they advertise. The fourth and final panic comes just before Christmas
and New Year’s, where we are faced with having let 11 months go by and not a single one of
our goals was even blinked at, much less written, marked, planned, contemplated or even
Want to make 2018 different? Want to actually achieve your goal(s)? Here it is. It’s nothing new.
In fact, it’s very old. Older than dirt, but it’s mind blowing if you read it with new eyes. Here we
go. Get ready. It goes by fast.
Goals usually end up in one of two categories: I want to X less and/or Y more. Now, in my daily
readings about the RAS… (Yes, I read daily about the Reticular Activating System. It’s effing
brilliant stuff). In my daily reading about it, I have learned that the mind does not process negatives.
That is, you could say, “I want to lose weight” knowing exactly what you said, but all your brain
heard was “I want weight.” It doesn’t process the negative word “lose.” So, the more you
say or think you want to “lose weight” the more weight you will have. If you actually want to
lose weight, you need to engage your sexy RAS and consider changing your statement to
something like: “I want to have a slimmer and healthier body.” There are no negative
statements there and the RAS gets turned on, helping your cells process, at the DNA level,
your new wants. That’s some next level quantum physics, baby!
Kind of like what Mother Theresa said (and I’m paraphrasing): “I will never participate in your antiwar
rally. But, show me your peace rally and I will lead it.”
Ask yourself what is really important and have the courage to build your life, literally
positively, around the answer. This is why language is so important. The words we choose
end up defining us and our very circumstances. Please choose words which lead you toward
the person you are so proud of becoming. I often wonder about the names people chose for
themselves and their social media following: so-and-so’s ‘madness’ or ‘addiction’ or ‘wild’
collection of everything gone nuts. Consider, if you participate in these groups or follow these
people, what kind of influence those words are having over your very thought process, as you
are flashing those words across your field of vision multiple times a day. Sure, it’s all in good
fun. And, I want you to get your goals accomplished.
You are not going to master your life in one day. That’s ok. Master the day. If you aren’t there
yet, master the hour.Then just keep doing that every day. Consider giving one positive action a
home for the month. By the year’s end you will have 12 positive actions that you can proudly
say you absorbed into your daily living. What if, instead of thinking about solving your whole
life, you just think about adding good things? Just let your pile of good things grow.
Write down the themes for your months in advance. Color them into your planner… you know, the
thing you carry around and spent beacoup bucks on? What if you made every minute of
every day of every month count in the theme you selected?
Taking time to plan is an investment in yourself and it doesn’t cost a dime. Oddly, I’ve
never had any of my military or law enforcement clients question me on the “master the day”
concept. It seems to be ingrained from the get-go. So, when it comes time to writing their
goals, they’ve already practiced a few weeks with writing things down, even if it’s one or two
words. It doesn’t have to look good. It just has to be written. The RAS only works when you
write it down. Don’t even try to type it into your phone. Well, I mean, Carie Harling and I can
type it into our OmniFocus but that’s because we know what we are doing. If you start typing it
out first, we will send you back out the door to re-enter. You’ve come through the exit. This is a
perfect example of “Go back and do it again.” Furthermore, when we do type it into our
OmniFocus, we are both cognizant of the fact that it will get written in the planner at some
point and the digital allows us to keep an ongoing master list of all of our thoughts so we can
organize them better to put DOWN ON PAPER. Trust us. We know what we are doing.
So, go for it! Write it all up in your planners. Use the month on two pages to theme it all up
before January ever swings by. Gawk at June in January and see what lovely things you will be
up to, so when someone asks you, “what are you up to,” you can actually tell them!
What a feat it will be to look back in December 2018 and see your accomplishments
outlined and detailed in a manual for living your life! One that you created. You want to go
hardcore? Theme every week instead of every month. 52 accomplishments in one year. Then
you can proudly ask your friends if your planner makes your RAS look big, knowing the answer
is a big, fat, yes!!
Have a good December. Be good to yourselves. Self care is a learned art, not a luxury.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. See you in 2018.
Karine Tovmassian is a Language Subject Matter Expert at Plannerology and Senior Adviser to
Military and Law Enforcement for resume writing and career coaching at Throat-Punch Resumes.
She spends her time hassling Steve Morton during their HitchHiker’s Guide To The Plannerverse
podcasts, the first and only planner podcast out there in the Plannerverse. You can find her on
Morton and all compliments to Karine Tovmassian.