It's a new year and everything just seems "fresh". The new year is an exciting time.
So, why not make a new year's resolution? Because they don't work.
When is the last time you heard someone say, "I started a successful business 10 years ago because it was my new years resolution in 2006"? Not often.
They don't work for two reasons:
a. Nobody really believes in them: Culturally, new year's resolutions were a great idea with a great intent at some point, but the common perception around them is more about failure than actual change. When you say you have a new year's resolution, most people know you won't keep it and you also know it's probably not going to happen.
b. There's nothing magical about January 1st: It's just another day on the calendar. Just like February 27th, April 12th or September 23rd. They're all just days. If something is important to you -- start doing it the day you decide it's important. Don't align it with the new year and the culture of failure that surrounds that.
Here's a different idea. Try these three steps to start your new year off right:
1. Get clear on what you really want
Start off by getting really clear in your mind about what you actually want your life to look like. How do you want to spend your time? Who do you want to spend it with? What do you want to be doing?
Don't let your thinking be constrained by ideas that have been imposed on you by the society you are part of, you friends, family, or by your own limitations of what's possible.
Break it down to the simplest thing you can. For example: I want to sing, I want to paint, I want to fix things, I want to build things, I want to help people.
Don't think of it as a job or a business; think of it as a "thing you want to do."
2. Do it
This one is pretty simple. Whatever you decided in #1 -- do more of it. Take a big leap or a small step, but whatever you want to do, do more of it. The more of it you do, the better.
3. Talk about it
Something pretty cool happens when you talk about stuff. It becomes real. When you talk about something, it feels more real to you and to other people.
We're not taught to pursue our dreams. There's not much of a support system for it. So, when you talk about it, you're stepping outside what's normal among your friends and family. And people remember that.
Make this year amazing by pushing yourself to do more of what you really want. Your only alternative is to be in the same place next year wishing you'd started now. Great news: "Now" is now.
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