It’s the New Year and for many with it comes the annual tradition of establishing New Year’s Resolutions. Being that I am a chronic list maker and goal setter, one might think that I am a fan of resolutions. The truth is, I am not. The reason? Our (society’s) collective inability to demonstrate any true resolve has made a mockery of what could and should be a healthy drill facilitating our individual desire to continually improve. Because we often times use words we don’t truly understand, here are some synonyms for the word resolution (note: All require a level of commitment):

declaration, decree, decision, ruling, promise, pledge, oath, vow 

We are one week into the new year and I am already aware of two friends who have somewhat pridefully acknowledged that they have violated their resolutions. There are many others who went through the motions of making a hollow list only to laugh at how uncommitted they were, not even fooling themselves as they put them on paper. To them, I simply ask why waste your time?

Though I do not make such resolutions, my wife and I do make the time at the end of each year to establish meaningful, achievable, and measurable goals. We do that after we evaluate our performance towards reaching the previous year’s goals and strive to continually improve upon them. We establish both joint and individual goals in the categories of health, professional/educational, financial, and social. Though last year we were able to measure meaningful progress towards our goals, there is clearly room for improvement and this year’s goals focus on those areas. For us, the key is putting them on paper and holding ourselves and each other accountable through periodic assessment.

The way I see it we are much like plants. We are in a cyclical pattern where we are either growing or wilting. The sooner we all realize there is no status quo, the better off we all will be. Those of us who are not choosing to grow are in fact choosing to wilt (e.g. wither, weaken) and that choice is made as much by conscious activity as it is by unconscious inactivity. Though it does not make me happy to make such a statement, I am willing to bet that most who read this will not achieve their “resolutions” this year and worse yet many had no intention of doing so when they went through the motions of establishing them. My hope is that each of us leaves this coming year having made meaningful progress towards our goals, having become a better person, and having enhanced the lives of those around us. After all, isn’t that why we get out of bed in the morning?

  • What are your goals last year?
  • Will fitness/nutrition still be a priority in April?
  • How many books do you plan to read this year?
  • How will you demonstrate to your friends and family that they truly are a priority in your life?
  • What progress will you make towards improving your financial position?
  • Will you really take that family vacation you’ve been promising your spouse?
  • How will you help to address areas for improvement at work?
  • Will you wait to be anointed or lead from your current position?
  • Are you growing or wilting?

Let’s all make this year the best year yet!!