Every new year I share this thought. Back in 1999 I found a website called Interviewwithgod.net. The host claimed that God visited him and answered all of his questions. This posting left an indelible impression on me.
What suprises you most about humankind? God allegedly replied:
- That they get bored with childhood and rush to grow up, then long to be children again.
- That they lose their health to make money, and then lose their money to restore their health.
- That they think anxiously about the future such that they forget the present and live neither in the present or the future.
- That they live as if they will never die and die as if they have never lived.
I can scarcely wait till tomorrow when a new life begins for me, as it does each day, as it does it each day.–Stanley Kunitz
When we sense a beginning, we tend to get more focused. A chance to start over and do better. We push the magical reset button to get a do-over. As long as you do not get caught in the vicious cycle of the same old resolutions that are so familiar that they become meaningless. You know the ones–"I need to exercise more." "I need to eat more healthful food." "I need to spend more time with my family." Lily Tomlin said, "I gained and lost the same 10 pounds so many times, my cellulite has dejavu!" According to the University of Scranton, making new year's resolutions increases your chances of accomplishing a positive change by a factor of 10! However, without specific goals, dates, times, and metrics, only 1 out of 5 keep their resolutions. So prevent your annual vows from becoming the broken record sounds of insincerity. But you knew that!
I will avoid all of the overused metaphors and analogies that depict the year past. You've heard them all, WEATHERING THE STORM, BEEN A ROLLER COASTER, OR NAVIGATING THE ROUGH SEAS. This year will not be a CAKE WALK by any stretch. Still a lot of challenges remain in the economy. Even though it feels more comfortable. Comfortable, the most dangerous place to be in the world. Don't let your guard down. Don't even let a sliver of complacency enter your mind. This has to be a time when you increase your resolve to continue your journey to strengthen your position in your life. Or to make new huge strides towards a new destination. You can start with baby steps if you increase your momentum with each step. This somewhat quieter time is when you make your move. Small and fleeting competitive advantage to move right now. Don't put off what you have to and need to do.
- Make this a defining year and time. How will you remember this year? When you look back upon it, what made it unique and meaningful?
- Don't define your goals by what you do NOT want. Follow your heart and your head. Envision the way you want your life to be. Not a default position based on what you want to avoid.
- Don't be the smartest member of your network. Assess your network. If you are the biggest fish in your pond, then move into a great lake, your network is not helping you. You are helping everyone else. Upgrade your network to challenge you and push you. Break out of the groups that hold you back. Your network has to inspire you and breed success.
- Schedule your mentoring physical.Get an appointment with your mentor(s). Renew your openness to confront a truthful and trusted evaluation. Test out your new goals to get constructive criticism. If you need one, get on your horse and find a great mentor.
- Reward yourself.What can you weave into your calendar that you will look forward to? Is there a special trip? A favorite activity or hobby that can interrupt your hard work with delight?
- Meet up. Beyond your transactional postings on FB, reach out and engage those you care about in serious exchanges about their goals and your aspirations. Arrange, dare I say, face to face conversations. Figure out how you can assist them achieve their new year's resolutions. It will make you and your network stronger.
- Conjure up the child within. Let down your guard a little. Beckon the creativity and genius that resides inside. Let it out. Take some risks and most of all have fun!
To accomplish these goals or any goals for 2010, the experts say dumb things like lower your expectations and be realistic. If you want to settle for what happens or accept the status quo, then be my guest. I say, get inspired. Renew your passion for the things that matter to you. Then you will see something that might surprise you — a glimpse of who you really are and were meant to be.
2010 could be just another year that comes and goes and we will ask where it went. You and your cellulite will have been there before. Or it can be an extraordinary chapter in your life that is filled with chances and changes. You choose.
I wish you a prosperous and fulfilling year. Thanks for reading. John