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Why You Should Forget About Ghost Month And Make August A Time To Restart

We Pinoys love adopting other cultures’ traditions and beliefs. We throw Thanksgiving dinners and prepare Chinese New Year spreads like they are customs we inherited from our forefathers. Hence, we fuss over Ghost Month as if our lives depended on it, even if it is rooted in a Chinese folk legend.

Ghost Month, which this year is pegged to begin on the 11th and end September 9, is a Buddhist and Taoist belief in which hungry ghosts are supposed to roam the earth and scatter bad juju. To befriend these ghosts and have them on our side, we are told to offer food to these spirits, spark an incense, and engage in some such rituals. To ward off these spirits or steer clear of their spell, we are advised not to sign contracts, not to get married, not to visit the sick, not to swim in the beach, not to go out at night, among many other don’ts.

 

 

Which basically means we are told that we need to put life on hold. But instead of putting a stop to life because of fear of getting run over by a train, or eventually regretting starting a new job, what if we view August as a time to regroup, recharge, and restart.       

What if we reconfigure August in our heads and make it the perfect time to start over. Which it is, if you ask us.  

Whether you revisit old resolutions or form new ones, a six-month timeframe may be better for meeting them. There’s less pressure to perform. You can break your progress down into smaller monthly chunks, and if you fall off the wagon along the way, you can always restart without being intimidated by a longer, larger deadline.

 

 

Here’s a simple but effective system for doing your mid-year resolution reset.

First, review what you’ve done vs. what you truly want to happen. Have you lost those pesky last 10 pounds? Learned level 5 Italian for your next getaway? Acquired your competitor’s business? Reduced your daily donut intake to twice a week?

Tip: the goals that you accomplish first are often the ones you truly want. Everything else—well, maybe you’re just not that into them. Which is a clear sign for you to reevaluate what you would realistically prioritize.   

 

Next, rewrite your goals. Start off with those you still want to do, then new ones that you’ve really wanted to accomplish. But be ruthless. Some resolutions seem enticing just because they’re popular. Choose resolutions that are somewhere between what you need to do and what you want to do.

Tip: pick out goals that are measurable, realistic, and provide enough backup options. Because on some days, you’re going to scarf down 5 Valhrona chocolate-coated donuts within a 24-hour window, so you better be ready to tame that hungry beast. 

 

 

Lastly, redo your action plan. Your resolutions won’t resolve themselves when the spirit is willing, but the flesh won’t move. This is where you must figure out the steps you’ll take to reach your goals.

Tip: Divide your overall plan into a series of smaller objectives that you can complete every month or two. Add some concrete mini-incentives for yourself too: drop-dead designer threads, tickets to that play you’ve been dying to see, or a chic brunch out with the girls (but without donuts!).   

So, if you’re in a resolution rut, have a long to-do list for the next five months, or just want to make the most of what’s left of your year, you can take August by the reins with these easy and realistic steps. By the time December rolls around, you’re ready to face the New Year with fresh goals because you’re that badass who took on the mid-year six-month challenge.

And if all else fails, remember: who needs resolutions when you’re already perfect?  

 

Lead photo from yourchineseastrology.com

Article photos from Unsplash.com