How's the school year going so far? I might know something that you don't know.
School started. It's not the best -- all screens all the time -- but it does still run that Start of the School Year vibe...when everything seems possible:
"This year, I will be organized and get all my assignments done on time!"
"This year, I will sleep eight hours every night and be well rested for class!"
"This year, I will just get my studying in and not trash my plans with Netflix!"
"This year, I will not lose extracurricular or exercise time to social media dramas!"
"This year, I will set limits on my gaming and stay focused on goals!"
This year, things will be different.
I haven't screwed anything up yet...so everything is possible.
Oooh, that sounds familiar. But you know what isn't different at all about this year, despite stupid Covid-19? YOU. You are still you. And you are, as always, the most significant mosaic tile in this whole picture of the new school year. Whatever habits you have in place, good or bad, will determine what is possible. If you have made 0.0 efforts to create different habits, to choose new and inspiring thoughts, to be super curious about what works and what doesn't ...this year will not be different. Sorry kiddo.
"What if I don't like all my habits...or some of them? How do I change them?" Excellent question.
Good news! You are 100% in control of you.
Bad news. You are 100% in control of you.
Habits are just bundles of actions that have come from thoughts that you allow and entertain all the time. What's great about this is that you can change your thoughts, and then produce different feelings that lead to different actions...and if you do this over and over in a positive swing toward what you really want then this year really is going to be different. It is that easy, and that hard, to do. Whether you think this is hard or easy is also up to you, and made hard or easy (snap!) by the things you are currently telling yourself. Right now.
Prove me wrong! Say: "No...I am terrible at writing English assignments and I am doomed when it comes to college essays. That's just true. I've always sucked at this." And then believe it. You will be right.
I don't believe you, though, and I want you to get over here with me in the "I am actually Captain Amazing at Essays" camp. For starters: stop saying that stuff. It's useless for you and only keeps you from writing that essay. Second? Flip it. Say the opposite. Find a more useful thing to say to yourself. How does it feel? What could you write if you believed it and saw yourself in a different light? Who do you need to be, and what do you need to do, to make that statement true? This is actually something you can control.
Remember that whole "know thyself" bumper sticker from ancient Greece? It was Socrates. He was telling Plato and the rest of the Symposium jokers that "the unexamined life is not worth living." I agree.
Look at your life. Examine it! Look carefully at the thoughts, feelings, actions and habits that you have bundled together to become the student you are now. If you examine all this, and really know yourself, you can begin to make small and powerful changes to become the person you really want to be. You are incredibly flexible and open to growth when you want to be.
So...do you want to be? If yes, this year is really going to be different. I just know it.