Here we are in the first few glorious days of 2018 and I’m sure by now we are all sick and tired of hearing “Get a new you for the new year!” Or “Start your year off right and let’s hit the gym!” (or some other “bettering yourself habit or behavior modification.) Now, if I was in charge of advertising and my job was trying to motivate people to better themselves, I’d do just a simple slogan and it would go something like this: Remember 2017? Yeah, Let’s not do that again, shall we?
It seems that at the beginning of every new year we all have these grandiose intentions of bettering our lives. And while some people actually do follow through on their New Years Resolutions, most of us not only fail, we fail miserably. Then, to make matters worse, we forget that we made the resolutions in the first place so that when the next new year rolls around, we make the same resolutions; thinking to ourselves that we have come up with an original plan of improvement.
Now, you are probably thinking to yourself. “This guy sure is starting the year off on a cheerful note.” And that is where you would be wrong. For you see, I’m not always this optimistic.
“Optimistic?” You ask. “What’s so optimistic about the stuff I’ve just read?”
“Well.” I would reply. “Did you read anything in the above paragraphs that would indicate that it was a permanent situation? Yes, I did mention failure and forgetting and so forth, but not once did I mention that not keeping our resolutions or plans of actions was a permanent condition.
When you analyze the situation, a resolution is nothing more than a goal or course of action. And if there is one thing that I’ve learned in my 50 plus years on this planet is that: “Goals and Courses of Action are NOT set in stone.”
In fact, I only know of one Course of Action that was set in stone. Remember when Moses brought down 10 Resolutions or Courses of Action down from Mount Sinai? And we all know just how well that has worked out for us as a species. (Major eye-roll inserted here)
But what I am getting at is this: Goals Change. Plans of Action change. Nothing, except the aforementioned Moses thing and some of the hieroglyphics found in Egypt, is set in stone. Life, like a river, is fluid.
So what if you made a resolution or set a course of action and you failed? Is there anywhere in the rule book that says you can’t start again now? Is there a place where it says in the book that you have to wait until the next new year to improve your life? I don’t think so.
The point is that YOU are the one who is ultimately in control of changing your life for the better. Do YOU want to lose weight? Then YOU (along with advice from your physician) are the one who needs to change YOUR eating habits and exercise. Want to get a better job but you lack a degree or experience? Then YOU are the one who needs to go back to school or get the experience YOU need in order to move up the corporate food chain. Want to get more out of life? Then YOU are the one who needs to make the changes in order to obtain YOUR goals.
But notice what the above paragraph lacked: It lacked time. A lot of these goals that you want to achieve will not happen overnight. In fact, these goals will take days, months or even years to be fulfilled. The fact that you are starting, or maybe even restarting, a resolution or plan of action means that you are serious about making a change and you don’t care or need to worry about IF you are going to make it this time because you are not going stop until you DO succeed in whatever endeavors you put your mind to.
The point is that YOU are the one doing it. Ultimately, the real reason we set goals is really not for our family or friends. It’s for US. WE want to change. WE want a better life. WE want to succeed. Yes, WE are doing it for US, but there is nothing wrong with succeeding so that WE can provide a better life for OUR families as well. But if YOU don’t take the first step and get moving, then YOU (not me or anybody else) are going to experience 2017 all over again and we all know just how well that turned out.
What I’m trying to say is that it’s not too late to get started. 2018 does not have to be a year of repeating the way things were. It can be a year of change. A year of excitement. A year of hope and wonder. It’s up to YOU to make it work.
I know return you to your regularly scheduled life…already in progress.