Tuesday, 20 January 2015


by Adéle Basson

The holidays are forgotten, the school clothes are bought (at a ridiculous price!) and traffic is once again crazy.  Shopping malls quieten down and holiday decorations have long since been packed away. It is 2015 and if you’ve started working you might already be writing the “5” of 2015 without thinking about it anymore.

It is back to normal for you, but is ‘normal’ going to be good enough this time?

For years I’ve had the same routine, every day.  My alarm would go off at 5:30.  I would hit the snooze button for the next 30 minutes.  I would get up, shower, get dressed, drink coffee and leave my house in a rush at 6:30 for a 45 minute commute to work.  Often by 9:00 I have not yet had anything to eat, and by 11:00 I would be tired and completely unproductive.

Even though the flaws in my system were so obvious, I religiously keptitUP.  That was my ‘normal’ and in a way I felt safe knowing that every day would be the same. 

Until one glorious morning in December last year.  I was still trying to continue with my ‘normal’, but suddenly during the second snooze of the morning I grabbed my phone, switched to the calculator and punched in a few numbers; the result: 3 132 - the number of working days I’ve completed in my career so far.  Without counting overtime, that addUP to more than 25 000 hours.  And according to the people that know, it takes 10 000 hours of doing something before you can be considered an expert in that particular ‘something’.

While waiting for the alarm to go off again it dawned on me… I should have been an expert in something by now.  But I’m not… not even close!

My problem? Like so many people, I got stuck.  Stuck in the safety of routine and the comfort of ‘normal’.  I went through the same routine every day, never once did it occur to me that I can actually just set my alarm for half an hour later, and get a solid uninterrupted 30 minutes of extra sleep.  Or that I can get up at the first alarm and perhaps start my day without a rush.  I might even be able to have breakfast!

And so I changed my ‘normal’.  And it was scary!  I would wake up at 5:29 and be anxious for the next 31 minutes.  I would often worry that I will be late, and I would stare at a fully stocked fridge, unable to think of even one breakfast meal to prepare.

Then suddenly, halfway through January, I was having a peaceful moment drinking coffee and eating breakfast before the day started, when I realised how quickly we can change… our habits, our thoughts, our ‘normal’.  Gone were the stressful morning rushes, the tiredness and the poor health habits. Change was changing life.

It is indeed possible to change the way in which you are building (and living) your life.  Age doesn’t matter, nor does the time of year, where you live or what you do for a living.  All it takes is a choice. Choose to change the daily routines and thought processes that break you down and start investing in positive self-serving routines that will buildUP who you are and the person you are becoming.

 You can get anywhere from anywhere. Don’t wait for the right starting point.

May 2015 be extraordinary in every possible way!

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