‘Around here we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we are curious . . . and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths. Keep moving forward’ – Walt Disney
Next weekend the clocks go back in the UK by one hour. Where it was dark at 6 pm, it’ll be dark at 5 pm. The long winter nights arrive somewhat sooner than they would if the clocks didn’t change. I’m not going to pass comment on what I think as it makes no difference whatsoever, it is what it is! But it did make me think about the concept of going backwards and whether it is ever a good thing.
The whole idea of tiny tweaks is to move forwards in positive ways, whether that be physically or mentally, by doing little things that take minutes or sometimes even seconds to do. Saying a simple daily affirmation, drinking an extra glass of water, laughing as much as possible or fitting in a few squats while we wait for the kettle to boil. All tiny tweaks that move us towards a better physical or emotional state.
But sometimes, with the best will in the world, we might let things slip a bit. In other words we might go backwards. Is that OK? I’m confident that every single tiny tweak I’ve mentioned over the last 18 months that I have been blogging, is helpful for me and maybe you too! But it doesn’t mean that I do every single one every day. I wish I could say I did, but I’m only human! The point for me is that I am learning about ways I can help myself and week by week building up a collection of tiny tweaks that I can use whenever I choose (OK, remember!). It’s the knowledge behind these tweaks that shows me why I should do them and, even if I miss a few days, weeks or longer, I’ll come back to it because I know why I am doing it and how it helps me.
Let’s take stretching first thing in the morning for example. I did it daily for a while, then I overslept a few times (I wasn’t following my tiny tweak to not snooze the alarm then!) and I didn’t have time. A few more days and the habit was gone but I’ve gone back to it. Did I go backwards? Well yes I guess I did and perhaps my back and joints suffered for it a bit but the important thing is that I learnt why it’s good to stretch first thing and I’m back doing it again. The knowledge that I gained is more important than the fact I missed a few weeks.
What about the bigger things in life though? Is it ever a good idea to go back to something, somewhere or even someone, that you once knew or felt comfortable with? I’d say very very rarely but I’m sure some of you will tell me that there is always going to be an exception. Places change, people change, situations change, we change. What was once right may not be right again. Whatever changed, changed for a reason. Remembering ‘the good old days’ is a lovely thing to do but attempting to recreate them is unlikely to bring as much happiness.
‘Don’t go backwards – you’ve already been there’ – Ray Charles
There are definitely benefits from learning from the past though. We can learn from previous generations or from our own past. Looking back enables us to work out why we did certain things or what we need in our future, based on what was missing in the past. In general, I believe that things happen for a reason and, therefore, every experience in our lives, good or bad, helps bring us to where we are now. So what can we learn from our experiences?
‘Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards’ – Soren Kierkegaard
So the tiny tweak? What little thing did you start doing but forgot about for a while? What would bring us more happiness, better health? I’m going to re-read some of my previous blogs and remind myself! How about you?
until next time xx