Who is on Your Acknowledgement Page?
Whenever I pick up a new book, the acknowledgement page always fascinates me. Authors tell me they write this last. I wonder what would happen in our lives if we wrote our acknowledgement page before we start a new task or goal. I asked my new group of students in January to consider this, in order for you to be successful at school, who is on your acknowledgement page. I asked them, “when you graduate, who are you going to thank?”
I bring this up because in my last post I talked about how picking a theme for your life this year can save you money. I believe with life themes, come goals. With goals, we bring new habits into our lives. It takes 21 days to form a new habit. It is easier to develop a new habit if you have support. Think of a habit for this month, what is your desired change? When you begin with your habit consider the following suggestions that my online instructors for the course I am taking suggested to us to help us stay on track:
- Find your rhythm-we each have an individual rhythm for learning, a time of day that works better for us to sign in, a pattern of interaction. When it comes to starting a new habit, what is your rhythm?
- Make space for learning-when you are starting something new, schedule it in. For example, my current goal is to move every day. I started with five minutes/day in early February, this week was ten minutes/day (or 70 minutes total) and next week my goal is fifteen minutes/day. This wouldn’t work if I didn’t schedule it in my calendar.
- Move with the Group-this relates more to taking a new course and keeping up with your class. However, momentum is easier if you have an accountability partner or group support. Who can you ask for help from?
- Start at the End-catching up online can be easier if you start at the end of a post. In relation to your goal, what does having that new habit look like for you?
In this post, I am suggesting you start at the end by writing down resources that support you so you can ask for help now. Here are some ideas of who could be on your acknowledgement page.
- You-Carving out time for you to reach a goal is important. It can be five minutes a day or a dedicated hour two evenings a week. What might you need to let go of to make this happen? Do you need to get better at saying no to distractions?
- Your family-Consider who in your family may support your new goal or habit. How might they help you? Do you need to ask them for what you need?
- Your friends-Think about your closest friends. They may live near by or far away. Who is the best person to help you with your habit or goal?
- An Accountability Partner-Is there someone in your life who has already met the goal you are looking at or is also on the same journey? It could be a person who also wants to lose weight, write a book or a study partner at school. Make time for this person.
- A Mentor-If you go back to the new students I mentioned above, perhaps there is a student who is further ahead in their studies who you could talk to that could help you get started on your new goal or habit.
- Localized Support-The people we see on a daily or weekly basis are an important part of our support system. Cultivate those individuals who can give you a hand in the moment. For example, with my goal of movement, I have the members of my Tai Chi class who are only an e-mail or phone call away if I get off track.
- Online Support-In writing a book or blogging, I would be lost without my online support system. I belong to a writer’s group and an art group online. If I get stuck on a creative goal, they are a keystroke away from helping me. Do some research online and find like-minded individuals to help you. Subscribe to encouraging websites, such as the popular zen habits, to support you in living a positive and simplified life.
- Keeping Track-There are always those individuals in our lives who help us keep track. They are the organized types who help us when we can’t see the forest for the trees. Make sure you know who you can go to if you are in a funk and need someone to help you plan your way out.
- Stress Relievers-Who do you call, e-mail or text in your life when you need permission to laugh, to let go or simply be. Put them on speed dial when you are starting a new habit.
- Wise Elders-We all have older and wiser people in our lives. They may be a pastor, a priest, a grandmother or grandfather, a parent, a neighbour, a teacher or a boss. Whoever they are, seek out their counsel if you get stuck.
- Ask Your Children-The children in our lives know how to have fun in the moment, can say things that are unexpected and truthful and have the optimism of youth at their disposal. Listen to them for they are our future.
An acknowledgement page in our lives is a dynamic and organic document, and the members change as our goals and our lives change. I hope this post has reminded you that you are never alone. I would like to thank all the individuals on my acknowledgement page who have taught me so many life lessons and have allowed me the gift of paying it forward everyday.
Who is on the top of your acknowledgement page?
What lesson in sticking to a new habit might you share with others?