A new year, a new Star Wars movie (see what I did there?), what better time to craft a new you?
Now, before you get all maudlin about how resolutions never work, that they're just depressing reminders-to-come of your failure to follow through and your personal weakness, your inability to buckle down and really, actually change for the better, let me take a second to reassure you:
You're absolutely right.
Really, you are. No punch line, no talking you down off the ledge, you're totally, completely and in every other way:
Of course, you should feel good about being right but that's beside the point. What you're right about is that New Year (and every other kind of) resolutions are shite. Grade AA, uncut crapola. A resolution is a dream your heart makes. An unanchored, free-floating urge for something to happen without a realistic grasp of what “it” is, an action plan, and most of all, without consequences. (A close cousin of resolutions is goals. We’ll use those terms interchangeably from here on.)
If not resolutions, then what?
First, a Vision. Doesn’t matter what it is. Your first pull up, 10 of them in a row, double unders out the wazoo, 15 pounds lighter, 10 pounds heavier, a bigger deadlift, doesn’t matter. You must have a fully-formed, Technicolor, thriller/action movie in your head of what you want to see/have/do/become. Feel it, smell it, touch it, see it, the whole thing must be more real than real.
And a Vision must be important. It’s gotta mean something to you. Why, in the name of all things sweet and pure, would you want to do this thing!?!! For yourself? Why? For others? What does it do for them? (Ultimately, all roads lead back to you.)
Now it’s time to share your vision. This is tough but has to happen. Pick someone (or several someone’s) and tell them about your movie. Paint them a picture. Details, lots of details. Put it on the board at the gym, tell your coaches or your classmates, post it online. You’ve got to go public.
Next, consequences. If the "carrot " of rewarding yourself for accomplishing a goal hasn't worked it's time for the Stick. What will you do if you don’t follow through?
A lot of people’s favorite is to put money in escrow as a donation to their anti-charity. If you fail to accomplish what you promised your designated agent hits the “Submit” button on the website you’ve chosen. There are those (ahem) who would be very successful with $1000 pledged to the George W. Bush Library, for example. Others, to any of the many hate groups out there. ‘Bama fans, donate to an Auburn scholarship fund. This may sound grim but the idea is to keep yourself focused. If you can’t think of something your “friends” will help you.
Need help? Ask us. Here’s to New Beginnings.