Sometimes the best approach to start improving your life is doing the exact opposite from what other people are doing or what have you been doing in the past. Especially when the expectations of the society and the behavioral patterns are so extreme that nearly everyone is doing the same thing. Like every December. Sometimes the best cure is to take a totally different step from expected when the social pressure is the strongest.
Here are some ideas how.
Instead of stuffing yourself, gaining weight and feeling fatigued throughout all December and half of January, do the opposite – exercise every day and eat super healthy. Bring your own carrots and bananas to parties. No, I’m just kidding, don’t do the latter, but you get the point.
Instead of buying yourself expensive gifts, because you deserve them for having worked so hard all year, do the opposite – save some money, pay off some debt or invest into your future. Trust me, there will be moments when you will need your money much more than you want to spend it on luxuries now.
Instead of spending hundreds of dollars on expensive gifts, write a personal thank you note to all the people that really matter to you and donate some money or buy gifts for poor kids. Don’t let Santa be a scumbag who buys rich kids more gifts than the poor ones.
Instead of writing down goals for next year, plan two agile sprints that you will do in December, and actually come closer to your goals. While everybody eats, parties, drinks alcohol and forgets their daily life for a second, you should fight hard for what you really want in life.
Instead of decorating a Christmas tree, get rid of all the filth, dirt and clutter as well as all other things you don’t use, and make room in your life. Sell some of the things, give away others, throw away the rest of them. Make your surroundings and consequently your mind super clean. You don’t need a nicely decorated tree for good family spirit; just tell your spouse and your kids that you love them more than anything in the world and spend twice as much quality time with them, without the TV and other distractions. Well, some minimalistic Christmas decorations are acceptable for the spirit. :)
Instead of partying and socializing too much, decide that you will find a connection with your true self. Decide to reconnect with your inner voice and your true desires. Instead of torturing your body and living a “YOLO” life, decide to be gentle to yourself and to feel good in your skin. Without any alcohol and being a party animal.
Don’t get me wrong. Rituals are very important in life. They remind us of what’s really important and they have a critical role in making us feel connected to other people. That’s perfectly okay. But you can do this in a healthy, economical, environment-friendly and really loving way. Not at all like it’s promoted in the ads. You should increase your margin on holidays, not decreasing it.
It’s also the way to opening a creativity door
Asking yourself what end result you would achieve and what would happen if you did things the opposite way from what you were doing in the past or from what other people are doing is a great way to open the doors to creativity.
It’s not like the opposite way is always better. But merely asking yourself this question makes you challenge yourself, your beliefs and your actions. You open your mind to new possibilities. It’s your new starting point from which you can brainstorm alternative options.
Sometimes asking yourself about the opposite way releases you of mental limitations. It puts you into the realm of out-of-the-box thinking. Improving yourself means nothing but finding new and better ways to do things. Thus you always have to challenge yourself and question everything, from why you are doing something in a specific kind of way to whether there are any other, better ways to do it.
Maybe the opposite way is a much better way, or there is another better way that’s very close to the opposite. Try it.