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Yes, it's that final month of the year again - and contrary to all popular opinion, Bill argues that it's the very best time to make preparations for lasting changes in your life.
If you're anything like me you woke up this morning to the shocked realisation that the final month of the year is really and truly upon us!
A sense of closure
There's something to be said about life in the southern hemisphere.
At least the surprise that comes with the revelation that the year is drawing to a close, is tempered by glorious sunny days, the thought of taking some time off work and a sense of closure.
Waking up to the first day of December in the UK was a very different proposition. With long summer holidays either a faded memory or a far-off prospect and the thought of having to put up with at least three to four more months of grey skies and icy weather, there was a lot less to be joyous about.
In the UK, working right up to Christmas Eve was very common whereas here, the slowdown begins from the moment the school holidays kick in.
If you listen to the general conversation at social events at this time of the year you'll hear how frantically busy everyone is trying to finish up work before getting away for a break. You're also sure to hear grumblings about how difficult it is to get anything done in December and - my old favourite - how important decisions and life changes will just have to wait until the New Year when things are not so crazy.
It's almost as if South Africa heaves a collective sigh of relief in December, in the knowledge that legitimate-sounding excuses for putting things off are in bountiful supply!
Formula for a mass hangover
The trouble is that this collective procrastination often results in a massive collective hangover in January, when the long summer holidays come to a close, the back-to-work novelty wears off and the usual daily routine catches up with us.
An ideal time
I suggest it is time for us to look at December through new eyes. December is an ideal time to tackle change and preparation for new initiatives.
Precisely because this is the month in which our normal day-to-day routines tend to get broken.
Act while the routine is broken
Our propensity for going beyond the status quo is dependent on our ability to lift ourselves out of our daily routines, find time and inspiration to look at things differently and be prepared to take action that we might otherwise not be able to.
If you're seriously considering a change to your life, in whatever area, I urge you to use this wonderful month of December to prepare the groundwork both mentally and physically.
Prepare now for no turning back
Take the action you need to now in order to ensure that there is no turning back when the afterglow of the summer holiday period wears off and the cold harsh reality of your normal working routine hits home again in January.
Don't be tempted to dismiss what I say because there's just too much going on and too many other distractions in December. That's the whole point. Take action while you are distracted from your normal routine.
Do this and you'll thank me in January.
Get ahead of the pack
Just as everyone else around you is beginning to commit thoughts to paper, compiling New Year's resolutions that will likely be consigned to the scrap heap before April next year, you will be up and running and ahead of the pack, putting the final touches to plans for genuine and sustainable personal growth and development.
Here's wishing you a fabulous month!
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