Tonight I can’t sleep.

It’s 2:42 a.m. My alarm is set for 6:50 a.m. and here I am – typing in bed: I hope you had a good break and enjoyed the holidays. I had a total of 10 days off. I stayed in the GTA with my family and did nothing. It was fantastic! The holidays, in general, were as expected – merriment mixed with family, friends and just a touch of yelling, frustration, and the occasional moment of exasperation. A little bit messy, but a little bit beautiful, too.

Then came the New Year, and what does the New Year bring? Well the parties are fun, but I’ve always found the resolutions to be an empty gesture and never really bothered with them. This year, however, my thoughts turned to inertia.

The holidays were lazy. Wonderfully lazy. Netflix and sleep, puzzles and games, with no demands on my time.

This became my pattern of behaviour over the break: routine set in. I was used to doing nothing.

Breaking out of inertia is hard (hence, the pattern of behaviour responsible for my current inability to sleep).

The celebration of the New Year has somehow developed over the years to give us this annual moment to embrace clarity. Where our society encourages us to stop, take a break and reflect.

I’m gearing up for busy season. I don’t really know what it will bring. Will I be able to master the tax provision and the quick turnaround it requires? Can I handle what’s coming?

When does CFE prep start? How do I prepare for such a big exam?

Should I commit to more involvement in a charity this year?

What do I want this year to look like? What can I bring to 2019?

Who am I going to be this year at work, at home? To my friends, my family?

In my last post I wrote a little bit about the kind person I want to be. Unfortunately, identity isn’t a one-time thing – something we choose once and it’s decided forever. Who we are is the sum of all the decisions we have made over the years. Accomplishing goals is the same way, and hitting my yearly goals starts with establishing good habits.

Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit. “

I know that inertia comes to all of us. Our patterns of behaviour are hard to break, even the ones that have come over 10 days of vacation.

I’m going to use my resolutions this year to make some habits in the pursuit of excellence. If I start with excellence in the small things, the larger tasks will take care of themselves.

I can prepare for busy season by reading up on provisions. I can prepare for the CFE by talking to my friends who have written before and by coming up with a study plan – studying in manageable chunks. I can do some small volunteering, setting realistic goals (once a month?). I can resolve to put others first, with the simple practice of fully listening and choose to respond with kindness more often.

Maybe I can start right now with just getting enough sleep.

Andrea Koop,
B.Com., Class of 2018

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