I am always amazed at the number of people who continue to make New Year resolutions (and this time I swear I will stick to them) on January 1, even though they know the chances of actually keeping them are slim to none. It’s the start of a brand new year with new opportunities, challenges, and beginnings! Why doesn’t anyone make resolutions at the beginning of a week, or a month…maybe each season?
I suppose those times are reserved for goals, not resolutions. The truth is that we could just as easily institute that change any day of the year, but instead, we wait. Why do we wait? Because change is hard, especially the big changes that most resolve to make on New Years. It’s difficult to change habits, so we wait. We wait for motivation, for more energy, and for the champagne to wear off.
If our resolutions are not important to us, and I mean really important, we will not make good on our commitment. Think about it. How many resolutions have you made over the span of your lifetime? My guess is between 3 and 5 each year. If we assume that you started making resolutions as an adult, maybe 18 and you are my age, that’s almost 20 years of resolutions. 20 years times a minimum of 3 resolutions each year would be around 60. That’s 60 possible life-improving, mind-altering, no nonsense, grab life by the horns changes that we have committed to undertake.
Of those 60 commitments to change and improve, how many have you actually kept? If I were to add mine up, it would be around 3. Seriously, I remember each of the ones that I have kept. That’s only about 5% of what I committed to. What if I only kept 5% of my commitments to others? I would probably be in pretty rough shape!
So if we can keep commitments to others, why can’t we keep commitments to ourselves? Just imagine that if instead of 5%, we kept 20% of the resolutions that we made over that same 20 years. My number then would be 12 instead of only 3.
If I had actually kept at least 12 of those same potentially life-altering commitments and stuck with them, my life would be drastically different today! What would it look like? Well, chances are I would be making and saving more money, living a healthier lifestyle, traveling more, and pursuing dreams that I have since let die. But that’s my life…what about you?
Think about all of those resolutions that you have made to yourself. What would your life look like if you had kept 20%, 30%, or even 50% of those? Write some of those down, the ones that you really remember, the important stuff. What if you had kept them? How would your life be different today?
That’s your motivation friend. When you make your list this year, expect that one day you will look back on these 2016 commitments and wish you had kept them. Let that not only inspire you to keep this year’s resolutions, but let it guide the actual resolutions that you make this year; write them down and look at them often.
Think of the impact that new commitments can make in your life over the course of the next 5, 10, 20 years, and beyond, especially when compounded. Have an incredible 2016. Dream big and make 2016 count. Cheers and Happy New Year!