Now that we’re in February, are you struggling to keep the New Year’s Resolutions you made just last month? Worse yet, have you already broken or abandoned some or all of them, sorry you participated in this foolhardy exercise once again this year?
Never fear, you can start the process all over again; I’ve come up with five resolutions you will find easy to keep all year long. The bad news is these resolutions absolutely guarantee you limited succcess in 2013. If kept, they will take you from “nowhere” to “nowhere fast.”
Here are my “fabulous five”:
- Resolution 1–Set extremely timid goals for yourself this year. That way, you won’t be disappointed by your failure to meet more ambitious goals. Deep down you know that you’re not real smart, talented or deserving so why not just keep plugging along, hoping that this year won’t turn out any worse than the last?
- Resolution 2–Steer clear of taking risk, even if it means you might miss out on a big reward. Risk takers sometimes lose money, offend the boss and get fired or are ignored, put-down or insulted when they take the initiative. You will safe all year long if you remain “invisible” and stay within your comfort zone.
Editorial comment: If Resolution 2 describes you, the APE (Avoid Painful Experiences)appears to be in control of your brain; please refer to my January 22, 2013 blog.
- Resolution 3–Whine and complain whenever anything goes wrong, always blaming someone else or circumstances beyond your control. It probably won’t solve your problems, but if it makes you feel better, deny personal responsibility at every turn.
- Resolution 4–Don’t even try to better yourself this year! After all, you’re just a little person so what would personal initiative accomplish? You’re (too old/too fat/too dumb/shy around others/etc, etc.) so why strive for better results? Anyway, the world out there is just too scary! Simply hunker down in 2013 and hope for the best.
- Resolution 5–Watch a lot of TV. I know most of what you watch is banal, mind-numbing or boring, but TV fills your leisure time and beats doing nothing. Anyway, you’ve just got to learn who will win “American Idol” this year or become the next “Survivor.”
If you follow these five “resolutions”, I promise you will end 2013 no better off than where you started–perhaps even worse off. Will it really benefit you to spend an entire year on the defensive, protecting your limited satisfaction with life today, depending upon someone bigger than you (God, the government, your boss, the lottery?) to make things better? If you can just hang on for a few more years, maybe all your dreams will come true in retirement!
On the Feburary 4, 2013 Internet broadcast of my program, “Middle Age Can Be Your Best Age”, I was privileged to interview Shawn Anderson, America’s “Extra Mile Man.” During the program, Shawn and I discuss five alternative 2013 resolutions which could produce radically different, far more positive results:
1. First uncover the true you, then make resolutions. Who are you today, what are your strengths and weaknesses and what do you genuinely want out of life going forward? Once you genuinely know and understand yourself, you can set ambitious yet achievable goals with a long-term game plan in mind and a conscious positive agenda for each day. A series of great days creates a great year; a series of great years creates a great life!
2. Stick you neck out a little more each day. Perhaps inch by inch, move outside your comfort zone. Go that extra mile in service to others. Propose that new project to your boss. Introduce yourself to that successful individual you have always wanted to meet. Never risk it all in one rash move, but seek to build confidence slowly but surely as you incrementally assume positive control over your emotions.
3. Take over primary responsibility for your own destiny. No one else is as qualified to be primary architect of your life. You can’t always control external circumstances (hurricanes level entire neighborhoods, jobs are eliminated, loved ones become ill or pass away, businesses fail) but you and only you determine how you react and whether you inspiire recovery in self and others, moving forward together with confidence.
4. Begin each day by asking yourself three questions:
- This first day of the rest of my life, what am I most excited about accomplishing today?
- Over the next 24 hours, who can I best empower and serve? What can I do to make at least one person’s life a little better?
- On this wonderful day, what am I most grateful for? How best can I express that gratitude?
5. Seek to broaden your mind. Turn off the TV. Read an inspirational self-help book, listen to a motivational CD, attend a lecture, call a friend, take up a cause, join in a robust chat room discussion on the Internet. Set as your goal to grasp at least one new nugget of truth each day.
In closing, here are three suggestions that can impact your life for the better in 2013:
Suggestion #1: Never make New Year’s resolutions in a vacuum without commiting to a corresponding positive change in attitude. First define then continually visualize a new, genuine “you”, the person you want to become. Making and keeping a resolution in an emotional vacuum is a white knuckle experience bound to failure!
Suggestion #2: Before focusing on positive goals for the new year, identify, acknowledge and seek to overcome negative roadblocks to a new and better life. You may be painfully aware of most sources of your unhappiness but often “hidden saboteurs” lie deep within the subconscious mind, perhaps implanted when you were a small child. Listen to our January 21, 2013 broadcast of “Middle Age Can Be Your Best Age” to discover how to bring these subconscious roadblocks to the surface.
Suggestion #3: To move your life in a positive direction, search within then crystalize an inner vision of the well-rounded, loving and caring person you were created to be. Instead of fearing growing older, fighting it every step of the way, embrace middle age and admire the person you are today and the one will become tomorrow. Combine the commitment and vitality of youth with the sound moral judgment and maturity of middle age. Of utmost importance, to find true peace and happiness, each one of us needs to extend beyond selfish ambition and personal desire to connect with the common welfare of all and the greater universal consciosness–a true win/win experience.
May each one of you find peace, joy and success as you move forward in 2013!