The time to make changes in your life is right here, right now before time catches up to you. Live better and live happy with the gift of this new year!
There’s a story of an elderly man cleaning out his attic when he came across an old trunk. He opened it and found many treasured keepsakes from his youth. Among the mementos, he found the valedictory speech he had delivered at graduation so many years before. As he read it, he felt some twinges of guilt and had to wonder what had happened to all the magnificent hopes and dreams he had been so confident of accomplishing. He had to admit to himself that he had settled for less. He’d been busy all these years, but just being busy hadn't brought him what he had expected from his life. What went wrong?
I once saw a poster that had a rocking horse prominently pictured and a caption that read “Don’t confuse motion for progress. A rocking horse keeps moving, but doesn’t make any progress.” And isn’t it progress that we’re after? Did you ever see the movie Groundhog Day? Day after day after day, the character awoke to the same exact surroundings, the same people, the same opportunities, and at first he did the same old things, was just bored, non-productive, even suicidal. Eventually, he realized that he could make a difference and ended up developing talents, skills, and relationships that changed his life for the better.
All this brings me to New Year’s Resolutions for 2017. A resolution is a commitment to a new beginning or lifestyle change. A favorite quote of mine by Goethe says, “Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness…..The moment one commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred”. In religion there is something that is similar to making a resolution; it is a serious desire to change and is called repentance. One major study found that even though a majority of the resolution makers had this same desire to change and were sure they would succeed, only about 10% ultimately did.
The most common areas of life that people make resolutions for are:
- Nutrition/Weight Loss
Concerning Nutrition and weight loss, there is an old English proverb that says, “Don’t dig your grave with your own knife and fork.” That’s good counsel.
Recently, the comedian Jay Leno quipped, “Now there are more overweight people in America than average-weight people. So, overweight people are now average, which means you’ve met your New Year’s resolution.” Success by redefining or lowering the bar isn't really success at all. Don’t end up like our old man in the attic with regrets, and coulda-woulda-shouldas. To increase your chance at success, be specific, plan, write it down, and tell others so you have some supportive peer pressure.
Don’t be like the guy who made a resolution to quit making the same old excuses. He said “I make the same excuses each year why I’ll do better next year, and it’s getting pretty old. This year, I resolve to come up with some new excuses instead.”
When the New Year comes, we have another chance to get it right. I guess the question is, how many times do you expect “another chance” to happen?