So how many New Year's mornings is this for you? Twenty, thirty, forty or more? Lots of parties, gatherings with friends, celebrations, fireworks, good food and drink the night before and a nice, quiet start to the year afterwards, right?
Good for you. However, how many times, during the weeks to follow, would you say there was some significant change in your life? How many of those resolutions you made really took root and flowered in you?
My hunch is there weren't that many. And while there's nothing magical about starting something new in January perhaps it's worth thinking about why we don't move forward and the dangers of just staying put.
I think one of the biggest problems is not that we don't take some great leap ahead, but that we never get started. But think of it like climbing a mountain. If you just look at the summit, the biggest part of the goal, you'll never get anywhere. That's what a lot of people do with New Year's resolutions. They decide to finally lose sixty pounds but never take the first step toward shedding three.
They determine to finally look for a job that they love or feel called to and then never send out one resume. The summit is just too daunting.
So, the answer? Start with just ONE fundamental change that you plan to stick with for three months. If you're going to start working out, make that change something like walking for a half - hour five days a week always at the same time. Do it religiously. Don't let anyone stop you if possible. At least have it become such a habit that if you miss a day, you will go right back to it.
If you plan to slow down your life and spend more time with your wife and kids, start putting that afternoon or evening in your week that you are going to commit to be home. Get it on your calendar and hold to it. It's a small change but it's a fundamental one and will start to etch a new way of living and thinking into your lifestyle.
Do it for three months without adding or subtracting anything. Then evaluate and starting raising your goals and objectives to a higher level. Before long your habit will have become a lifestyle and bigger gains will come more quickly.
And come next year, you'll look back and say, "Yes, resolutions can be more than just talk. And I really did make it to the summit."