I LOVE starting a new year. It’s a clean slate to make my life more purposeful, as I use my executive functions to maximize time management. I am excited about the possibilities for changes – positive changes.
A few months ago my daughter, Kaye, wrote a blog that sums up how we change. She gave me permission to share it with you.
“I might be too busy. Mark and I have taken up rock climbing. Which is to say, Mark has taken up rock climbing avidly, and I have taken it up inadvertently. This, combined with tango, Pilates, jogging, my extracurricular coursework (right now I’m taking a UX design class,) and, you know, work and feeding and cleaning up after myself, leaves negligible time or energy for much else. Toss in being minimally social, and I am at my max – in a nice way, I suppose.”
Yesterday (while I was jogging) I was thinking back to my days of youth and childhood when I was content to happily read away day and night, followed by more reading, maybe some baking. How did I end up like this?
There’s a famous philosophical quandary known as the Ship of Theseus. The idea is that if you replace one board on Theseus’ ship, intuitively the ship is still the same. But what about when you replace half the boards? Or all the boards, slowly over time? Is it still really the same ship? Are there certain conditions in which this is the case, or not the case? If so, why?
Lately, I feel like I am cramming as much living as I can into my days. Part of me wouldn’t mind slowing down, but when I reach out for that impulse, I find myself wanting to go climb or sweep the floors instead. I suspect my boards were replaced.”
Like my daughter, when I look back over my life I am utterly amazed at how I have changed. This is especially true over the last 10 years as I focused on my goal of helping as many people as possible to develop their executive functions.
I have diligently worked to change my behaviors and thought processes, doing what it took to learn new skills and face my fears. Did I become me, a self-actualized adult overnight? No. Is there still room for improvement? Yes. That’s why I love the new year, a time to pause and reflect and recommit to living the most purposeful life possible. I put my goals into my Seeing My Time planner. I look forward to changing out my old, weathered, leaking boards, little by little…
So, as you embrace the new year, consider a comment from Bill Gates, which says: “Most people overestimate what they can do in one year, and underestimate what they can do in ten years.”
Don’t set unrealistic expectations for change this year. DO focus on a particular aspect of your behavior or life that you would like to see changed. Start working on replacing, one “board” at a time. Eventually, like my daughter and I, you will look back and admire the wondrous new “ship” that you have created.
What part of your life do you want to start working on?
PS: If you’d like some support to tackle a project or behavior change, considering joining me in our Seeing My Time in Action: 30-Day Challenge. I’m itching to start my project and could use your encouragement!
Marydee Sklar is the president of Executive Functioning Success and the creator of the Seeing My Time Program®. She is an educator and author of three books on executive functions, as well as a trainer and speaker. Marydee has more than twenty-five years of experience working with students and adults with executive function challenges.
Tips for Recovering the Executive Function Skill of Future Thinking
Have Hope: Executive Function Support Does Work
How Play Can Support Your Executive Functions at Home, Work and in Life
Routines Lighten the Load for your Brain’s Executive Functioning