For me, and I’m sure lots of others, advent marks the start of Christmas. Not the commercial “book your party now” or “order now for xmas delivery” that seems to start in August, but a period of reflection to consider the year past and the future to come.
In the Christian calendar advent is the period of preparation, to enable alertness and readiness for the second coming. Whether you believe this or not, take some time for reflection,mental sorting and preparation for what’s next.
As I write this, it’s 4 weeks until christmas day and I’ve got my usual plan for the month, but this time I’ve pared it down. It’s not about getting as much done as possible, it’s about getting the right things done. I know there will be that awkward, definition-less time between christmas and new year and I plan to be ready to fill it, even if I fill it with acceptance that I’ve just got to embrace the spare time.
Nobody likes missing a deadline and I find that having one just makes it easier to get things done. Even if it’s an event you’re looking forward to, you can use a countdown to make sure you’re ready and able to enjoy it fully. And even though 4 weeks can seem like a long time, each day can go by quite quickly with life to live in between. But having said that, it’s amazing how much time you do have in a day. Play the 5 minutes game: just 5 minutes to do what you need to do. It will make a difference.
Alternatively you can use a count up to keep you motivated. Use this to record your successes (tick it off if you’ve done your exercises today, if you’ve done your language practise today, if you’ve done a good deed – you get the picture). It can be really powerful, and if you miss a day, just start again tomorrow. No harm done, but a reminder of why you’re doing things could come in handy.
As ever, the challenge is to do it. Pick a date and be ready for it, or get ready from it.