Another year has come and gone. You may be thinking, “Boy, I’m glad to see it go because it has been one hard year for me.” Or you may be sad to see it go thinking, “I’ve accomplished so many things this year and so many good things have happened.”
No matter which way you feel, time still marches on. No matter how you feel now, last year is gone and the New Year is here. No matter how much we want to, we can’t do it over. We can’t save it for a rainy day. This is all the time we get and then it’s gone.
Knowing that should make us want to get out there and eagerly plan for great things for this next year – great things in your relationships, great things in your personal life, great things in your business life. Knowing we can’t stop time and this is all the time we will get, we should be anxious to invest our time, not waste it, build relationships, not give up on them, and to live deliberately and with excitement to see all our dreams come true. But way too often we don’t do that.
Do you start the year feeling all pumped up and ready to make all your dreams come true? I know I do. You want to be deliberate about losing that weight or starting that class or writing that book. You know this will be the year you do things differently, right? Looking back, how have you done? Has your determination lasted a month, three months, six months? How long?
“Wait…what was I going to do again?”
During the holiday season and the New Year’s celebrations, we make a lot of our decisions based on emotion. We get all caught up in the excitement and the thrill of the season. It’s easier to make promises based on how you feel at the moment. It’s easier to dream big because of the big hopes of a fresh start in the New Year. It’s easier to look to the sky and boldly declare, “I am going to be different this year!”
But when the music fades and the decorations are put away and the celebrations are over we think, “Wait…what was I going to do again?” And it’s easy to let excuses and justifications creep in and deflate your enthusiasm.
So, how do you do it? How do you make those promises to yourself stick? No one else can do it for you and excuses only delay your success. How do you diminish the guilt and shame of bailing out on yet another New Year’s resolution? Is there a way? Is it even possible? Yes, it is. It is possible to stick to your own promises and make your commitments come to life.
”What’s Important To Me”
Start by making a list of the people and things that are important to you. For example, family members, friends, co-workers, honesty, giving back, prosperity, etc. Write down everything you can think of. Making a list like this brings you back to a place of appreciation and reflection about who you are right now. You have a past and you have a future, but this initial list is just about you and who you are right now. This is your “What’s Important To Me” list.
Next, instead of making New Year’s resolutions that will fade by the end of February, (if they make it that long), make a list of Life Time resolutions. Don’t just think about these, write them down. Who do you want to be in this next year and beyond? What do you want to be doing by this time next year and many years to come? How can you make a bigger impact throughout this year and the next year and the next year and the next year? This is your “Life Resolutions” list.
When you write your two lists, you’ll probably see that your Life Resolutions are built from your “What’s Important To Me” list. For example, two of your life resolutions may be to pay off your debts and save money. That may be because on your “What’s Important To Me” list are your children who you hope to be able to send to college one day. Through deliberate planning you can change your wish of “I hope to send them to college one day” into “I WILL send them to college because I have deliberately paid off my debt and deliberately saved the money I needed.” Do you hear the confidence in that last statement (repeat last statement) and do you hear the fear and anxiety in the first statement (repeat first statement).
“If I can do THIS, then maybe I can do…”
There is a tremendous amount of confidence you can gain by being deliberate. Imagine yourself creating a plan to pay off your debt and each week seeing yourself deliberately pay the extra required to see yourself debt free. So empowering!! That feeling of empowerment leads to, “If I can do THIS, then maybe I can do…”
What are your Life Resolutions and what are you willing to do to see them come true? You and I could sit down together to develop the greatest action plan you have ever seen, but it will never make a difference in your life unless you do something. Make the deliberate decision to invest in yourself by putting in the hard work required to reach your goals. These kinds of tough decisions and deliberate actions make a significant difference in your goals and in your future.