Are You Making a List and Checking It Twice?

Now that Christmas has passed, we all know what is just around the corner: New Years Day! From a slightly pessimistic point of view, it is a day that marks the beginning of all the stories that will be told about the things we are going to accomplish in the new year. I say "stories" because...

  • Half of them won't last until January 7th.

  • 75% will be forgotten by the 14th.

  • 9 out of 10 will be completely forgotten by February 1st.

I'm here to tell you that it doesn't have to be that way!

Those who know me understand that I am not a fan of New Year's resolutions. I am a strong advocate that if it is worth doing you must do it today. There is no sense in waiting, but if you have to wait for some reason, then be sure to do it right.

Forget all those "lose weight", "read more", "worker harder" promises. They may be worthwhile ambitions but they will rarely work out. The first reason is that they are too general and the second is that you never really meant them. More than likely, you just felt that you were required to make the effort because it was New Years and that is what people do.

Instead, let's try something new this year: Shoot for a real resolution. The word resolution means "a path to resolve" or "to solve a problem". So, let's take first things first.

Make a list of the problems you believe you have in your life.

Be as specific as possible and be sure to own the fault when it is yours. No blaming others because your troubles are your own! You can't make others change, so you must change yourself.

You can make the list as long as you like, but...

Pick your top three problems.

No more than that. Just three. Take your time and decide which issues are having the biggest negative impact on your life. Here is a secret: Look for the problems you least want to deal with and you will probably find the ones you most need to solve.

Formulate a plan of action.

Avoid generalities like "go to the gym more" or "spend more time with the family". Be specific and set concrete goals.

If you need to go back to school...

How many credit hours are you going to take? What are you going to study? When are you going to start?

If you want a closer relationship with your spiritual self...

Will you pray and meditate more? How often? What time of day? How long?

Make it concrete and write it down. Be as specific as you can.

Having the outstanding life you deserve is going to be a battle--a battle to overcome your own shortcomings--and no battle has ever been won without having a plan in place. Pick your targets, create your plan, and resolve your own problems.

My challenge for you this week:

If you noticed, your challenge assignment was already embedded in the paragraphs above, but here's one final task, which may be the hardest of them all:

  • Complete the steps above before January 1, 2020!

Do the work and feel free to contact me if you need a push in the right direction.

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