This post is about encouraging you to use traditions that serve you, ditch ones that don't and create ones that you want.
This time of year is full of traditions - at work, at home and when you look around the streets or shops. There are things that happen at this time of year that are different to others. There are mince pies in the shops, Love Actually is on TV and organisations are going through mid-year or end of year processes (depending on your planning cycle).
Yesterday was my daughter's last day of her first year of primary school. She was a bit sad to be saying goodbye to her friends for six weeks and will miss having her (excellent) teacher next year. It was also a great day to reflect on the progress that she had made. I decided that it would be an appropriate thing for daddy and daughter to head out for some ice cream. I don't take a lot of convincing for ice cream and she takes even less! I came home last night and told my wife about how we had decided that this would become a tradition. On the last day of school every year, my daughter and I (or even better - all three of us) would head out for ice cream to celebrate and reflect on the school year. As such, a tradition was born!
Predictably, my wife's response was "You try and make everything a tradition!". I say predictably because she is correct - I do try and make a lot of things into traditions! In my mind, the benefit is the shift in the conversation from "Are we going to do this thing?" to "When are we going to do this thing?". By doing that, a crucial part of the decision making process is complete. You move from a question of 'if' to 'when'.
Traditions are not natural phenomena that occur beyond human control. Seasons or the cycle of the moon are not traditions. They are natural occurrences. Traditions are processes and rituals that have formed over time - and often align with natural occurrences. Traditions also have to start somewhere. It serves us better when these occur by design rather than by default.
Technically, I may be jumping the gun calling something that I have done once a 'tradition', but it is the intent that is most important. I intend for the final day of school ice cream to become an annual event that we don't decide if but when. It is a process that I deliberately choose to undertake and wish to make a regular occurrence. Hence, it fits my notion of a tradition.
By the way, I kind of like that it's a non-traditional definition of tradition!
Here are a few simple questions that might help you close out for 2018 and start 2019 with more clarity and direction.
What are the traditions that have served you well in 2018?
What are the traditions that have held you back in 2018?
What new traditions could serve you in 2019?
Finally, a sincere thank you. Thank you for being someone who reads and shares these posts. I don't take your attention for granted and hope that these posts serve you and those that you serve.
I hope that you have a great break and look forward to connecting with you again in 2019.