As your head prepares to hit the pillow, you spy it: a curious slip of paper poking from the pages of a book you meant to finish reading. The layer of dust on the cover is interrupted only by a circular smudge. Your smile reminds you of the night you used it as a coaster.
As you pluck the yellow-lined book mark from its resting spot (near page 14, you recall), the musical stab from the movie Psycho echoes in your brain.
My New Years Resolutions!!!
A quick glance at the calendar sends shivers down your spine, as though you’re being drawn slowly, while shackled to a giant log, toward a giant saw-blade.
“Holy holiday season, Batman, we’re running out of time!”
Is this YOU?
According to a University of Scranton Journal of Clinical Psychology* study, 45% of Americans usually make New Years Resolutions. A smashing 75% of them will maintain their drive and make it past the first week with their resolutions intact (hey, you made it to page 14 in your book, right?).
By the 6-month however, only 46% call their journey toward resolutions a successful one.
Why is this?
For me, it is a matter of making resolutions REAL.
So many lists look and sound like this each year:
What is wrong with this list?
Techniquely, however…a lot.
If this is your list, you may feel a bit discouraged right now. But there is a simple way to make it all better.
Here it is:
Yup, just change the date!
Ahhhh, now you can sleep soundly, knowing you have re-dedicated yourself to your life’s improvement.
As a professional speaker, author and Provider of Motivational Firewood™, I cannot leave you here.
Want to know how you can REALLY make this year better?
If you are still reading, I will assume the answer is yes.
In the article, some of the top annual resolutions include:
Wait, didn’t your list say all that?!?
Maybe…but in the most boring, vanilla way imaginable.
Before I start getting letters from vanilla-lovers, I like vanilla too…but I love to jazz it up with colorful sprinkles and taste-bud-grabbing toppings!
No matter what you do, or who you are, this is your opportunity to take a turn for the best, a way for your internal GPS (your heart and soul) to re-calculate and chart a better path.
Are you a leader? I bet you are.
You may lead a work-group, an entire organization, a family…or at least your own life.
In this moment, you also get to add ‘artist’ to your list of occupations, because we’re about to add a heaping helping of colors and flavors to this year’s resolution palate.
Want to get organized? What systems, skills or resources will you need? What is currently frustrating for you? Who can help you?
What is a new skill or activity you’d like to learn? Want to go skydiving, learn sign language, take up hiking, learn yoga or master the art of the paper airplane?
Think you need to lose weight? What is the EXACT number on the scale that will make you smile? What can you enjoy eating to get there? Who will you need to speak with and learn from? How often will you exercise?
Are you a leader who enjoys helping others with their dreams? Whether you are a workplace leader, a parent or a friend, you can make a world of difference for those around you by being curious and caring for their hopes, goals and dreams. Be a catalyst for those who may not have the confidence or skill set to reach them on their own.
Want to spend less and save more? Give yourself an allowance. Lay down the law and create a catch-phrase (or silly song to sing to yourself) every time something bright and shiny catches your eye. Dedicate a specific portion of your income to savings and make it very difficult to break (engage in automatic deposit of your income if possible).
Want to enjoy life more with friends and family? During a brilliant interview from a recent Success Magazine audio recording, Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh (pronounced ‘Shay’) discussed the concept of ‘work-life integration’. Instead of either/or, trying to find balance between work and personal life, it can be helpful to see how the two actually overlap and help fire each other up. It can be the biggest ‘why’ when you go to work every day.
Is this easy? Not necessarily.
Is it simple? Yes.
If you are planning to map out some resolutions this year, please consider the questions above.
Add as much color, flavor and texture to your resolutions as you can.
Please consider sharing them with others. Who knows? You may overlap and suddenly discover a fun, motivating success-partner!
May I let you in on a little secret?
Keep a journal.
In less than 60 seconds, at least 3 times per week, I jot down my “Good Stuff’.
It is as simple as writing the date and 3 good ‘moments’ from that day.
Do this at least 3 times a week and, by the end of December, you’ll have recorded over 450 reasons why this year rocked!
I know many people who do this. How can I tell?
They smile…a lot.
They finish reading books.
They love vanilla ice cream, piled high with all the toppings they can enjoy!
And they are happy when their heads hit the pillow.
I hope this will be you, in 2014 and beyond.