A new year is only a new start if you make it one. Here’s some advice to make those resolutions stick.
It is coming- do you hear it? Just around the bend it’s 2016!
Boldly galloping straight at you, nostrils flaring, hoofs beating, heartbeat filled with passion and fresh blood pumping the spirit of the New Year. Yes it is almost here. You are too busy with the holidays right now to notice. It still seems so far away, but no — it is almost here — the New Year.
So here is the question lads, how can you make sure that 2016 is a great year? Not just a good year but a year that kicks ass? The best year of your life?
Here are some things to start thinking about now and over the next few weeks.
#1 — Write down your goals.
OK, I know you have heard this all your life. You may think its motivational speaker mumbo jumbo but it is not — it’s what really super successful people do.
So take out some pen and paper, ink and bark, or a stone and a freaking tablet, but think about your goals for 2016 and write them down for once it your ever loving life. Just at least try it. What if it made all the difference?
#2 — Learn something new.
Make a commitment to learn something new in next year. Take lessons in Brazilian Jujitsu, learn Swahili, take up fencing, or learn how to play the guitar, learn how to knit, take up fly fishing or study the history of ancient cultures. When you learn something new it’s exciting and stimulating and gives you a renewed zest for life if you have lost a little spark. Stagnation is not a good place to be, growth is.
#3 — Change something about yourself.
Three years ago I decided I did not like my appearance so I took action. I went on a plan and worked out and over the course of about nine months lost 54 pounds. Ask yourself what you would like to change about you.
It could be something physical or something emotional or spiritual. The change can be something you don’t like about yourself you want to change or just something that is a positive addition. Be specific – don’t say “I want to be in better touch with my family this year.” Say that but then also say how, and list actions on you will accomplish it. Call one family member a week, send a birthday card to everyone family member who has a birthday all year, and plan a trip to see your Uncle Ernie in Portland. Except this time really do it.
#4 — Decide to give back.
What can you give back to the world this year? Where can you volunteer your time, effort, energy, or money to help make the world a better place? For several years I was a “big buddy” at a children’s grievance camp. It was weekend camp for kids who had lost a parent or sibling. I saw children come to camp broken and leave with a new spirit of hope. Many spoke about their grief for the first time. I worked all weekend with a ten year-old boy who had lost his Dad. I can’t change the whole world, but I do believe I changed the world of one sad little boy. Many people think giving back service is for the other people, and it is, but I am telling you when you serve it returns to you tenfold, and your heart fills with gratitude for the opportunity to give. So how can you give?
#5 — Recommit to something or someone.
What do I mean by recommit? Decide what it is you would like to make a new commitment to. When looking at it maybe you aren’t the greatest husband in the world and well dang, you used to be didn’t you? What happened? Life happened and work happened and kids happened and well … decide to recommit to be that husband again — you know the one. Recommit to your kids, or your church, or your community, or your health and fitness. So cowboy, decide in your life what you would like to recommit to. Pick one and just go for it.
#6 — Decide what to drop.
If you are going to have a kick ass year by adding to and enhancing your life — you also need to decide what to stop doing. What do you need to drop? It may be an activity. (As an example, I wrote an article for Good Men Project recently about deciding to stop watching the NFL.) It may be your job — you are just sick of it and need a change. It may be a person who for some reason just doesn’t need to be your friend anymore. I know it is cruel, but they may be dragging you down and you have known this for a long time, haven’t you? So what do you need to drop to improve your life?
So this year can be a magnificent year galloping forward like a thoroughbred stallion, or a year of just limping along like an old broken down raggedy plow horse. The choice is yours. Now.
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Photo: Getty Images