I do not know about you, but I do not think that I have ever completed any or all of my New Year’s Resolutions.
However, I can say that every year I have made significant progress toward greater personal growth, know more about who I am and where I’m going, and have accomplished more goals and experienced more positive changes in my life. Most of those accomplishments were not all results of my original New Year’s Resolutions but more the result of actions that I took day in and day out as I constantly thought about how to become a better person and how to make my life more meaningful.
Those who follow me on Twitter, know that recently I said that as I get older I am less interested in cliche New Years resolutions and more interested in what I call “life improvement alterations.” Maybe this is my subconscious way of avoiding the fact that maybe the reason I didn’t complete my resolutions in the past is because I lacked the discipline to complete them and not let “life get in the way,” or maybe this is my way of psyching myself out and calling “resolutions” by a different name, but I still think I am going resist the temptation to make them.
That being said, my “non-resolution” this year is to stop making resolutions, and instead to focus more on permanent, constant, year-round LIFE IMPROVEMENT ALTERATIONS. Wait, is that still a resolution? Crap.
To be honest, there is a magical freedom that comes with the dawn of a new year, society gives us permission to forgive ourselves of the past hiccups, uh-ohs, and flubs of the closing year and encourages us to embrace hope that in the next year we can change just about everything. We drink the energy and enter the new year with possibly the greatest amount of positivity of any month in the entire year. We start the race. Everyone starts strong, then the “burn” hits the body and we slow down, or even completely stop to rest or quit, while some push through until the “second wind kicks in” to complete the race (actually completing all the resolutions). Those that finish are most likely the ones that talk to themselves throughout the entire race: “Only three-fourths of the way to go”… “I completed half, so I might as well finish”… “Come on, you can do it. Breath, you’re almost finished.” They are the ones that consider the truth about the importance of our mentality to success, that we must have a consistent, positive, and determined mindset to complete ANY goal. So, in this context, talk is cheap, and hopeful wishes will not produce a completed resolutions. In our words, resolutions are a waste unless we have the resolve to be resolute in our resolutions.
My personal thought is that making permanent, consistent LIFE IMPROVEMENT ALTERATIONS to our thoughts and bodies will likely take us further in the race than any resolution ever will. If we give ourselves the freedom to forgive ourselves for the mistakes me make at any point in the year and start over with a refresh mindset everyday, we will be more apt to accomplish more than a New Year’s list can ever do. And finally, if we give ourselves permission to be fearless enough to actually live outside the confines of societal time tables and rules, we will probably write dreams bigger than we can even accomplish in one year.
1. Make the “resolution” that you will stop waiting for a new year to start making resolutions.
2. Start focusing on living a productive, purpose-filled life that requires daily “resolutions.”
3. Focus more on permanent life improvement alterations that can be made at any time of any day of any month.
4. Work more on the mindset and discipline needed to sustain long-term goals and success.
5. Give yourself permission to forgive yourself for making mistakes along the way and begin again… right away.