A new year offers an extension on the gift of life. For all of us who have survived to see another year, we have been blessed beyond comprehension. Aside from our pain and struggles, we’re pretty damn lucky as we’re still tenants in the land of the living.
Our residency on Earth allows us to give, live, receive, breathe and grow. Each of us has been given another opportunity hence another chance at the game of life. And for the ambitious-driven individual who wants to “make things right” on comes the inevitable New Year’s Resolution.
Before I move on, I must define what a resolution is. In short, a resolution is a firm decision to do or not to do something. The keyword in our definition is firm as in strong, sturdy and damn near unbreakable. However, so many New Year’s Resolutions are broken with minimal effort.
Why is this? Perhaps people misunderstand what a resolution means. In this post, I’ll detail my belief as to why resolutions are easily broken. I’ll explain why the traditional new year’s declaration for improvement is worthless. Andl lastly, I’ll end with a better proposal or replacement to the usual New Year’s Resolution.
Finding The Cause Of Your Problem
Before you declare war on weight gain & fatigue, devise a get rich quick scheme to quell your debt problems, or proclaim victory over your chronic tardiness to class or work, first, you must identify the cause of your problem(s).
You’ve struggled with your habit for months, maybe years. You’ve wanted to right the ship and make a positive change. You recognize the agony of allowing your problem to persist while losing control of the issue at hand. Realizing that you have a problem or habit is excellent. But opting to skip the crucial step in identifying the co-contributors to any problem will only allow for the proliferation of that problem.
My Midyear New Year’s Resolution
There was a time when I’d work 8+ hours, come home and relax. I wanted to do more once my workday was over, but justified the expenditure of my limited leisure hours on taking it easy because I worked all day. However, it was fatigue that stopped my from going the extra mile.
After waking up, getting dressed, morning traffic, work, then evening traffic, I was tired. So tired that, I warranted the need to sit on my ass once I got home. As time passed, I began to feel immense guilt for not working on special projects and tapping into my ambitious spirit. I recognized that I had to identify the reasons for my after work fatigue, as fatigue was the prime root problem to my dilemma.
Quickly I discovered that I wasn’t getting enough sleep, my diet was not entirely healthy, and I wasn’t working out. All of this transpired in the middle of the year. Instead of wait till January 1st to take action, immediatey, I began to make changes. Once I began getting a solid 7-8 hours of sleep and switched to a healthier diet, I felt great – so great that I began exercising which made me feel even better! Good rest, good food and exercise allowed me to operate at an optimal level. I then overcame the after work fatigue and gained the necessary energy to work on special projects while tapping into my ambitious spirit.
As you stand before friends, family or a mirror to proclaim change and the coming of a new and improved “you,” recognize the needed steps to overcome your habit and accomplish your objective. Sidestepping this critical step will likely call for a repeat of the same declaration a year later. After years of singing the same song, your friends and family may begin to tune you out. Or worse, you may start to tune yourself out, thereby losing confidence in yourself to make the change – when this happens, change may very well never come.
What good is a new year’s resolution if it will be broken & abandoned?
For years, countless multitudes of people will use the new year to set goals such as: lose weight, quit smoking, and exercise – to name a few. Cool, but, why wait till January 1st to kick a habit or right the ship? If you’ve got a problem that must be addressed and rectified, why stall to take action?
I get it – it seems more accessible and fitting to start the New Year right. But it is damning to allow an issue to grow wildly out of control from the moment of recognition until New Year’s day. Allowance of such opens the door for Procrastination which is the enemy of Ambition, Determination, and Focus.
And when or if you break your new year’s resolution, then what? Wait until January 1, 2020, to jump back on the wagon? If your mind has been conditioned to try to “do the right thing” atop of every New Year, then perhaps you will. A new year’s resolution is excellent, and so is a promise; however, both are utterly worthless if easily broken.
I still believe that the New Year’s resolution is worthless, provided that you see January 1st as the only starting point for change. Instead tomorrow, and all ensuing days, are better opportunities for improvement, though only if progress is sought on a constant basis. You could join the masses of others and opt to seek continual improvement each year – but – seeking continual change on a daily basis is better. You see, within a year, there’s only one January 1st and 365 tomorrows! When you decide to get better daily, versus once a year, the journey to improve becomes fruitful and pragmatic.
Spend it wisely
How many times have you heard, “this year is going to be the year – I just know it!” OK, cool, yet the person saying this doesn’t have a plan for betterment? Phrases like this echo the uttered desires of one who plays the lottery. Uttered desires like “If I choose the right numbers, I’ll win and be set for life!” Or “I’m one scratch off away from winning it all!” And my all-time favorite “tonight is my lucky night!”
Years ago in one of my economics classes, our professor said, “Poor people play the lottery.” According to our prof, a poor person, or rather the mentality of a poor person is flawed. Why? Because a poor person’s stratagem for success and wealth excludes the necessary tools such as discipline, thought, strategy, hard work, and brilliance.
Any ploy such as playing the lottery is a mere shortcut turned quick dead-end for failure. And while there are some who have won the lottery, many stories have surfaced over the years detailing the short-lived luxurious life of the lotto winner. I say short-lived because many lottery winners lose their winnings just as quick as they won their soon to be gone fortune. Without discipline, thought, strategy, hard work and brilliance, it’s sadly inevitable that most lotto winners will quickly lose their cash.
With the coming new year – with each coming new day – how will you spend your time? Will you wisely invest minutes and hours and days towards staying steadfast to your goal to lose weight? Or, will you misspend your precious time, just as a lottery winner squanders their winnings, only to have nothing to show for it in the end? This is how you recede to old habits and break the once cherished New Year’s resolution.
What’s your Everyday New Year’s Resolution?
In my Time Management blog post, I speak about the importance of time and why we are to treat time like money. With every minute spent, track it to keep a record of how you are using your time and how much of it is going down the drain. Time management will play a critical role as you seek to stick to your everyday new year’s resolution.
Yes, I wrote everyday New Year’s resolution. If the January 1st marks the start of a new beginning, then so is the dawn of every new day. Seeking betterment, seeking change, wanting to crush a habit – these feats are marathons, not tasks. For this firm reason, the every day New Year’s resolution is undoubtedly better than an annual New Year’s resolution.
Deepak Chopra advised us all to don’t think outside of the box, but instead, GET RID OF THE BOX. The box, in this case, is January 1st – allowing this date to serve as the only opportunity for change and progress will severely stifle any chance you’ve got to compete in the 400-meter hurdles of life, or even come close to winning the un-coveted bronze medal.
The year 2018 was tough for many people. The years prior have consistently been tough for many more. I hope that all of the days within the coming year, as with all ensuing years, will bring everyone respite, happiness, and fulfillment. Make an everyday New Year’s resolution. Identify the root causes of your problem. Run your daily marathon to improve earnestly, overcome and declare victory.
Be ambitious. Be determined. Stay focused. Stay disciplined!
Happy 2019, everybody!