My mom came into the living room on New Year’s Eve. It was 1999. I was 9 and wearing a shirt that was 5 sizes too big for me. I called it my pajamas. She and my dad turned on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve. They both invited me to stay up to watch the ball drop in Times Square for the first time and ring in the new millennium.
Right as my eyelids started getting heavy and my head started nodding they asked me what my New Year’s resolution was going to be for the year 2000. This was my first time attempting to stay up past midnight. I had never even heard of a New Year’s resolution. Needless to say I didn’t have one considering that was my first time hearing the matter. They were both less than enthused about the whole concept as they explained it to me. That people decide to wait until the next year to make a change for the better in their lives.
It wasn’t until the past couple of years that I started going along with the whole New Year’s resolution thing. Except I set goals for myself in the new year because I wanted to be different; just like everyone else. And just like everyone else I lost sight of my goals and the whole “new year, new me” thing I talked myself into.
As we came to the home stretch of 2016 I started thinking about my New Year’s resolutions. Maybe I’d make a commitment to myself to stretch more. It’d be awesome get into marathon shape. Somehow I wanted to grow my social media following and pick up more clients. But I’d have to wait another 53 days until the New Year to set all these plans into action.
A New Year’s resolution is a great idea. Where things get skewed is that we decide to make a change because we view it as a tactic.
Make a note to check up on your New Year’s resolution(s) on February 17th. I can almost guarantee that most everyone, reading this or not, will have slacked off and given up on that resolution. It’s how we’re wired. That if we’re not hungry for it we don’t flip that binary switch to kick the old habit and adopt the new. You may have decided to change your health for the better, expand your business, improve your marriage, make a career move, etc. All those ideas sound great in theory, but you’re going to fail unless improving where you see fit becomes your religion.
When you check in with yourself on February 17th and you realize that your New Year’s resolution is nothing but a distant memory don’t wait until 2018 to make a change. Start putting things in place that day to make yourself and your life better. It’s far better to make a resolution every day because you only get one shot. And when you actually decide to make a change in your life that’s when you’re going to pull it off.
Even if you’ve already failed on your New Year’s resolution, don’t sweat it. Make today your day for a new resolution that you’ve decided to execute. Because when it shifts from being a tactic and becomes a religion, you’re going to win.