Today, Thursday, has been identified as the best day of the year to make a big decision
A recent study by Origin Leisure shows that more than three quarters of Brits regret putting things off when they were younger and more than half of us don’t believe we’ll ever get around to making a start on some of our biggest goals.
To overcome this, a new formula sets out the factors that work together to create a ‘seize the day’ mindset and its creator has identified 31st July as the optimum 'Carpe Diem' date.
The formula, created by psychologist Cliff Arnall, uses positive factors of boldness, authenticity, clarity, commitment and the immediacy of ‘now’ to overcome the negative factors of fear and pain of regret – factors which hold us back from taking big decisions.
The boldness factor involves having confidence and trust in oneself to recover if a decision doesn’t go according to plan. Authenticity relates to being true to oneself and not worrying about what other people think.
This is important as 35 per cent of those researched said the reason they’d failed to reach a major decision was because they ‘couldn’t justify it to others’.
Clarity and commitment is about having a clear goal and seeing how to get there, as when you’re clear it’s easier to be committed. The ‘Now’ means not getting stuck in the past or being distracted by the future, as decisions are only ever made in the now.
Combined, these factors will overcome fear – the main obstacle to seizing the day – and pain of regret, as people generally regret the things they didn’t do rather than the things they did. In fact 34 per cent of people researched stated fear of making the wrong decision as the biggest reason why they failed to reach a decision.
Cliff Arnall explains further: “Carpe Diem is not about compulsive behaviour or impulsive decision making; it is about knowing that the power lies within us to change our lives for the better today. The positive factors need to be big enough and strong enough to outweigh the negative factors of fear and pain of regret.”
Having identified the combination of factors to beat procrastination, an analysis of external factors pinpoints 31st July as the ideal date for seizing the day.
“This date is almost 60% into the year and with summer holidays already planned and nothing large on the horizon we are very in the ‘Now’. We are more relaxed and feel less inhibited during the summer, enhancing the authenticity factor. With autumn around the corner very soon the days will become short, cold and wet. Autumn brings big future events to hold our focus such as back to school, Halloween and then Christmas, and planning for these takes away from our ability to focus on the ‘Now’” says Cliff Arnall. “The last day of July is a reminder to take action over the summer when days are long and energy is high, making it easier to be bold. By seizing the day on a Thursday, it gives us the time and opportunity to plan something small but great for the first weekend of August and allows time on the Friday to execute the decision.
By starting small you will be more likely to succeed and accomplish something, which in turn will give you the confidence to seize the day more regularly and in bigger ways.”
Gary Taylor, managing director of Origin Leisure, the swimming pool company behind the formula, comments: “We deal with people making big purchase decisions every day and understand some of the things that hold them back, as well as the regret they can feel for not doing things sooner. Not everyone has a swimming pool as a life goal, but the Carpe Diem date and the mindset of our formula is a great place to start whatever your goal might be!”
B – Boldness This requires a deep-down trust in yourself. The boldness factor includes confidence and knowing that ‘life will go on’, that you will bounce back and recover if a decision doesn’t go to plan. Boldness also refers to the knowledge that your self and your identity is separate from the decisions you make.
A – Authenticity This factor encourages us to follow our own dreams. It’s about being who we really are rather than pretending to be something or someone we are not. It includes being resilient to what other people think or what they might say. It also includes being true to your family and friends. The best decisions will usually incorporate the needs of the people emotionally close to you as well as your own.
C² - Clarity and Commitment The clarity factor is about having a clear focussed goal and being able to envisage a route to get you there. Such clarity and focus makes commitment to decisions and goals far easier to maintain. Decisions based on what is genuinely right for you will result in the highest levels of sustained commitment.
N – Now Living in the Now means not getting stuck in the past and not being distracted by the future. Decisions are only ever made in the Now. Clearly the consequences can last a lifetime, but regardless of the amount of preparation and planning time, the present moment is the only time you can make a decision.
F – Fear This factor is the major obstacle to seizing the day. The different types of fear are varied but all can paralyse decision making: fear of failure, fear of success, fear of looking like a fool, fear of losing everything and fear of feeling guilty for having nice things when there is so much poverty in the world. In order to seize the day we must overcome our fears. It’s not about banishing them but realising we can navigate past or through them.
P Í¬ - Pain of regret People generally regret the things they didn’t do rather than the things they did. We don’t know how long we’ve got. Psychologically it’s not a good idea to get to 80 years old and then ruefully reflect on the things we should have done.
Origin Leisure has been at the forefront of swimming pool design, installation and technology for over thirty years. As a group of designers, architects, builders and specialists, the company creates and constructs premium pool projects from beginning to end, managing the entire process.
Origin Leisure is supporting the Carpe Diem date with a 24 hour free phone hotline – 0808 1685670 - for enquiries placed on 31st July, and offering free swimming pool equipment worth up to £8,000 to anyone who seizes the day.