The Mifl Report: January

04/Feb/2013

* MIFL = Month In Focused Living

Back in January I chose a Word of The Year. Rather than setting resolutions, a Word is a handy way to set a theme and intention. I chose focus for 2013 and I’m doing regular MIFL Reports to keep me on the straight and narrow.

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Is anyone else out there a bit scared of January? When I crack open a new paper diary and see all those blank pages I’m filled with a cold and morbid dread, not knowing what lies ahead. Cheery folks may think, Ooh a shiny fresh batch of days. I wonder what joys they shall bring? But I can’t help wonder what terrible cock ups I’ll make, who is going to get ill, who will shuffle off, what will go down at work, and what stupid things will I say and immediately regret? There’s a gnawing worry that everything good thus far was a fluke and this’ll be the year that it all goes tits up.

January snow

January snow

This annual ritual kicks in on January 6, when the Christmas tree comes down and it feels like nothing fun will happen ever again! It fades away approximately three weeks later, once the diary is taking shape – there’s a few appointments; maybe a travel plan or two. The stark skeleton of a new year has some flesh on its bones.

Having my nerdy Focus Plan made this year more sparkly (details here if you fancy). It reminded me that while random things happen, you can shape the overall flavour of your life. Derr.

I did great on two out of three components – the 3-2-1 Exercise plan and the Morning Pages daily writing. I did all the writing and the exercise was top notch except for one week when I was pissweak with the cold. That’s when mindful eating turned into a festival of mindless buttery Vegemite toast. In the end I was a kilo down for the month.

My mission to Focus On One Task At A Time is proving difficult. Right now, for example, I’m fighting the urge to open a new browser window and see what’s happening in the email world or go make another cup of tea. This urge pops up every time things get uncomfortable, dull or even the slightest bit difficult.

We had crazy deadlines at work last week and the To Do list was mega long. Instead of doing one task at a time I flitted between half a dozen, so everything took twice as long. Even cooking dinner can be ridiculous – I’ll be stirring away then notice the tea towels a dirty so I think, I’ll put a wash on. So I wander off to see if anything else needs washed, then I spy a magazine beside the bed and start flipping through it, then zone out for awhile before remembering the dinner.

Time to crank up the tumble dryer!

Time to crank up the tumble dryer!

Or say it’s time to get on the spinning bike. I get changed, fill the water bottle, open the laptop to put on some music and decide to take two seconds to peek at my email. Next thing an hour has passed and I’m sitting there in my exercise gear watching Golden retrievers sliding in the snow for the 27th time.

I guess it’s progress to have notice I do these things, so now I can start working on them? Hmm.

There have been some days when I got in the zone and stayed in the Word document without wandering off and it’s amazing how quickly you can get stuff done.

Getting back to that January terror. As rotten as it feels, I’m glad we can’t just put on magic Nostradamus pants and see how the year pans out. Wouldn’t that be horrible? Sure the bad stuff is going to be bad but the good stuff wouldn’t be as good if it wasn’t a surprise. Onward, brave humans!