“Resolutions” : From a Different Lens.

I had my share of “Resolutions” making-n-breaking years. I conveniently blame it on the teenage years when flaunting cool “Resolutions” was the in thing. If I could not come up with special or unique resolution for the New Year then I was not included in the happening circle. It didn’t matter to the girls if we couldn’t keep them for more than 2 days. Anyways, even before I was out of teenage years, I was done with the pretense and keeping up with the Joneses on the resolution thing.

A few years ago, intrigued by the New Year resolution declarations by my contemporaries  (of course, not teenagers anymore), I spent sometime thinking about resolutions and the reasons why they fail miserable. The cycle seemed still the same – “Make New year resolutions on Jan 1. Come Jan 31st all of them are forgotten.”

This rumination made me realize that making resolution itself is not bad. In fact, it can be very purposeful for an individual. Based on my understanding, there are at least four parts to making meaning resolutions and to make them stick:

For each resolution:

Step 1: Define Purpose

Step 2: Set Goals

Step 3: Bring to Practice

Step 4: (If ongoing) Build it as a habit

And trust me, it is still very hard to keep going. But since Step 1 to Step 3 requires immense clarity, effort and time, it just makes sense to keep going with the Step 4, until it becomes second nature.

I still don’t declare resolutions. I just identify purpose and work towards building good habits now. I have bagged very few successes and seen ample failures. Which means that I don’t have luxury to decide just on 31st December, but to continue doing these steps all year long.

New Year Resolution

But then who can disagree with Calvin?

Photo Credit : Google search / Internet.

 

Time Out !!!!

lots-of-clocks

All In Good Time

In this age and time, when we are all running out of time (all the time), can you imagine being surrounded by not one or two but 14 handsome wall clocks and alarm clocks.

And not one of them shows the correct time.

When my old aunt, who stayed with us for the Labor Day weekend, pointed out that the clock in her room doesn’t seem to show the right time, I casually asked her to check her mobile phone. Then realized that she doesn’t use one. So I went to get a replacement clock from another room. Well that one was funny with its hands giggling in the same place. It needed battery replacement, for sure. I went to the guest bathroom to fetch one; it was never set back correctly once the daylight saving ended.

My son’s room and bathroom together has 4 clocks, which I feel are still few considering that he is perpetually late. One has a fancy character based face, another one is more practical with normal alarm, third one glows in night & has brazen alarm music which can wake the whole neighborhood, and one is digital. All of these were running at least 30-32 minutes fast. That’s a deliberate lead-time that I have manipulated in his clocks. I am sure that he knows about that too. But since I keep changing the lead-time, he is never sure. But this trick is an utter failure. By now he has learned to check time on the mobile phones/ipads/laptops, even TV.

The rest of the clocks in the house were either competing with Usain Bolt or ambling after heavy meal. The one in office was on a different time zone. I had set it like that a few years back when I was working with global clients. I used to change the time frequently depending on the client location. Now I don’t remember which time zone it was set to.

It was embarrassing, considering this happened in my aunt’s presence who also happens to be the family raconteur.

Well. In the moment of need, I got one of the clock set back to show the right time and put it in my aunt’s room.

What about others?

All in good time, my friend, all in good time.

Or

Just before my aunt’s next visit.

Photo Credit: Google Search

Does this Ring a Bell with You?

In one of the schools where we attended the open house this month, the director was very eloquent about the non-intrusive and soothing environment they provide at their school. She also mentioned that they believed in empowering students and letting them share the daily school responsibilities along with the teacher. She said they do not have a school bell. All they had was a whistle that they blew few times a day to indicate recess/lunch on and off times; and that too because kids are far off in the schoolyard or playground during that time. They might not be able to see the clock. But other than that they didn’t ring or even have any other school bells. They didn’t want to startle the students. Also this is one of their methods to teach the kids time management.

This conversation brought back some bittersweet memories from my childhood.

I once studied in a public school that was poorly funded. The money was so scarce that the administration and teachers had to be constantly creative on how they spend without compromising the quality for the students.

When the school had started few years ago they couldn’t afford a new school bell. I am not taking about the shinny brass ones. They didn’t have enough money to buy the plain old cast iron bells. So a staff member rode his bicycle to the nearest railroad yard and brought back a 3-foot broken and abandoned railway line. They hung it at school as a bell. And imagine what did they use as the clapper – A good old hammer.

railway line bell

I visited this school of mine in 2012 December after many decades. Things have changed and improved beyond my imagination. The school has grown multifold in all aspects. Although they use an electric bell now, they still have the railway line bell displayed as memento in the assembly room.

Image courtesy: Google