On Perpetual Motion

Photo by Himmat Iqbal. Taken during Kiota Bristol Event ft Aisha Ali

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January is no longer the new kid in class. We are three weeks in and have had plenty of opportunities to learn more about it. Whether it was in your professional environment, personal life or the spontaneous moments the year has brought to your table.  

Getting to know someone or something is a gamble even at the best a times, a tour past the idea of a thing and into its reality exposing the scaffolding and soft tissue of a solid thought. As both spectator and player, we are all part of that dice roll. I have learned, and continue to learn more about my character through these last weeks.

“If you want something you have never had, you must be willing to do something you have never done.” 

– Thomas Jefferson

Achieving goals is a lot like relationship building, keeping things healthy and mutually benefitial after the sparks and honeymoon phases pass by. What do your new resolutions look like after you have sobered up, after you have rinsed all the novelty out of their names and walked them out of that new shoe smell? There is a canyon shaped hole between the pragmatic epiphany of change and the real-time labour of bringing it to life. I can only speak for myself here, seeing as no one reading this was part of my late-night monologues or morning journal session, but its becoming clearer with each hurdle that switching up the program involves, if you can believe it, switching up the program. Which sounds redundant as a sentence until you are in those moments that render your olds tool of no use and you have to get real with your intentions.

This post is a door way into my head, advice for the author, by the author in a public space. Its both accountability and a cry for help from my fellow procrastinators and go-getters.  My excitement writes cheques that my laziness won’t cash, even with the bailiffs knocking. Getting started is a challenging part of a journey, but in a very different way, to staying constant and consistent. Both are important to getting things done, but i would argue the latter holds the long term benefits. This little gem of a thought has helped me reframe the first steps. Instead of starting an ascent up Everest, I focus on putting my shoes on, and then getting past the hill, then make a habit out of climbing hilsl, copying and pasting that idea until the air thins and my feet touch the summit. Sysiphus has given a bad name to rolling stones, but the whole gathering no moss thing really vibes with me. That sweet sweet momentum will turn brick walls into tracing paper if you play it right. 

Perpetual Motion is a state in which movement or action is or appears to be continuous and unceasing. Tomorrow is a game of inches, and my aim is to get there by any mean necessary. If I can get there in good health, then even better, so turning a habit into a chore that takes more than it gives isn’t a great idea. I have hidden escape clauses in some of my habits because of this dynamic and its starting to show. I kept the habits vague and unspecific to blur the line between habit and a passing suggestion. Knowing the who, what, where, when, why of my habits shed some light on how I can refresh the relationships and has helped me turn the grind into a grin and keeps me going.

Why have I adopted this habit?

Hopefully, the answer is that its an easy, digestible slice that will lead you to what I want. A new skill, a healthier life or a less cluttered bedroom. There is no pressure to build a biopic worthy daily ritual, the process isn’t a performance.

How is this going to change the way I move through life?

Ideally? It should give me some bread crumbs to follow. The world gets very loud, very fast, and if I have some strong habits I can decipher chaos and keep balance when things get fuzzy. Those big scary projects, tasks and puzzles are a collection of small skills and managable moments. 

When will I know I have internalised this habit?

There is a theory around this, repeatedly cycling through it will plant the patterns deeper and deeper inside you. I use a 90-day system, after three months living in the habit I check in with myself, seeing what has worked, how it felt and what I can do differently. The habit serves me, so naturally, I am the best judge of that.

Who benefits from this change in perspective?

If the goals and habits are genuinely for me, then surely, I will benefit from it. As well as for myself, the people I share my life with will inevitably be affected. If the habits help with time management, then I have more time with my people, if it sharpens up my skills, I am in a better position to bring value to their lives, and hopefully, it has a positive effect on my mood and approach to life.

Where will it take me? 

Wherever I want to go.

The truth is, the theory is easy, the practice can be challenging. If there is any habit worth sneaking to the top your list, its self-compassion. Having healthy conversations with your self, through positive self-talk, and the people around you, with sharing those wins and trips of trying, will strip the venom from those challenging stretches. Missing a day, or breaking that chain of consistency doesn’t unravel the whole journey, it’s just punctuation in this novel your writing, get back to it and learn a little more about that habit. Start with where you are with what you have and find the joy in that. The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the next best time is now. 

What is your new habit? And what are the who, what, when where and whys to help you plan the best way forward?

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