New Year’s Resolutions

It is official – January has been branded the most miserable month of the year. In fact Monday 20th has been dubbed Blue Monday with no relevance to the brilliant New Order song at all! In senior assembly this week I shared an equation constructed by Cardiff academics that supposedly quantifies the difficulties with January.

They have developed a formula to explain the day of misery where…

1/8W + (D – d) 3/8 x TQ M x NA.

This January Blues Day Formula may strike a chord with some . . . . . W is the weather, D is Debt, d is money due in January, T = time since Xmas, Q = Time since failed/quite resolutions, M = general motivation, NA is the Need for Action.

This spurious intellectualisation suggests there is a rationale for approaching the start of 2014 with negativity. Dark nights, wet weather, colds or flu and school examinations may all conspire against us but there is much evidence to show that a positive approach and ‘can do’ attitude will always be more successful than a pessimistic attitude.

Declan O Flaherty outlines 8 Tips to help create a Positive Mental Attitude (or PMA for short) and I believe they can be applied for all our students, staff and indeed all of us as we embark on 2014…..

1. Remember that you are powerful
You are more important than any label. We are not our feelings. We are not our circumstances. We are not even our mind. What we are is far greater, far superior, far more important, and far more mysterious than our conceptual mind tries to define. This is why we are far more powerful than we think we are.

2. Choose to embrace life
Let go and embrace the moment, whether it contains an obstacle or an opportunity. Stop fussing over trivial matters and start focusing on what’s really important to you. Don’t go through life expecting things to change. Your choice. Your life. Your responsibility. Your power.

3. Realize that you get to control your reactions
We all have problems, and we’re often tested by circumstances outside of our control. Even though you may not be in control of what’s going on outside of you, you most definitely can control your reaction to those situations.

4. Know that no one is better qualified
We place far too much emphasis on other people’s opinions about us, often to the exclusion of our own. This takes away from our own personal power. Always believe that you can achieve anything you put your mind to.

5. Believe that you are more than enough
If you have to compare yourself to someone else, let it be a person who is less fortunate, and let it be a lesson to learn just how abundant your life truly is. It’s just a matter of perspective.

6. Love yourself
You have arrived. Everything you need is right here. It’s not out there. It never was out there. Be yourself.

7. Stay cool
We end up losing control over our own actions because of the way other people act. But we are responsible for our own action, regardless of how rude other people may act.

8. Journey well
We know life is about the journey and not the arrival. We don’t need to arrive if we accept that we are already here. Your choice.

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent” – Eleanor Roosevelt

So we all stand at the start of a New Year and new term with boundless opportunities and adventures ahead of us – from our youngest in the Nursery through to our most senior students. I always encourage staff to be positive and optimistic; to students I advise the same, and include the desire for aspiration as well. Regarding problems as opportunities may well seem cliché but it is also about our own personal mindset. I hope all the Westholme community can embrace a positive and optimistic attitude as we have the unique chance in the educational world, not only to shape our future destiny, but also to have two chances at a new start each year – in September and January. Make the most of it!

Happy New Year with PMA!

Lynne M Horner
January 2014