Well, it’s that time of the year again- the first of the year – the time when we all get to start over. Every year that’s the idea of New Years Eve – time to start over. It sure is great for the health club businesses. If you are a member of a health club it may not be your favorite time of the year. For about a month it will be ridiculously crowded. Of course, you know if you just wait it out, most resolutions will die off and you will have your work out place again. Many people have spent part of the last month, especially the last couple of weeks, with family. Sometimes we commit to a ‘life reset’ because we have spent extra time recently with those that are most important to us and we are choosing to re-prioritize our life (some vow to not get that close to family members for at least another year). If you’re not in the retail business, you may have had some extra down time for thinking. Thinking about priorities and what things got out of hand or got forgotten over the last 12 months. For whatever the reason, many of us are thinking about what we should be doing instead of what we have been doing. I don’t think this annual obsession is a bad thing. I think it’s a great thing. The only problem with it is that we don’t do it often enough.
Why do we only think this way once a year? If we only are making ‘course corrections’ once a year, how much more effective could we be if we re-focused on a more regular basis? Are there things that happen in your life that you didn’t know were coming? I suspect so. I think that happens to all of us on a regular basis, so why don’t we make adjustments more often? Sure it takes time and, I know, as soon as we get up to speed in this new year we feel we are going to lose ground if we take the time to change our heading. How far out of whack do we get if we don’t take a moment or two to recheck our trajectory once in a while. If we feel a need to change everything every New Year then perhaps it’s worthwhile to make those changes along the way. The reset button doesn’t only work once a year and then is disabled for the rest of the year. It’s always there for us but we forget about it. Well, more likely, we think it requires a lot of effort to reset everything. Sometimes it does. The longer we wait between resets, the more effort it will take. If we are just a little off course, how hard is that? With that previous idea about the health club, if you quit doing what you intended on February 1st, pressing that reset button in August or November or December can be a bit intimidating. Of course it’s not going to be much easier on January 1st of next year either. If you press that reset button on February 7th or 15th when it’s only been a week or two since your commitment faded, it’s not so bad. Like anything else, it gets harder over time. We just need to get into the habit of resetting whenever we see that it’s the thing that needs doing. When I think of that great, inspirational movie, “City Slickers”, I remember when they talk about having a ‘do-over’ (that’s the inspirational part for me). We forget we can always have a do-over if we need one. Often, we need friends to remind us that we need one and, more importantly, we’re entitled to one because we can’t always see things clearly. Most of the time we need a do-over because we got off track and things got away from us – it happens. Perhaps it doesn’t happen as often if we hit the reset button more frequently.
Maybe the correct New Year’s resolution is to make more resolutions throughout the year, to take the time to see how far off the road I am more often. And when I see that I’m off the road, have more of a willingness to press that reset button and get me heading where I’m supposed to be. I prefer to end my year with recognition that I’ve done pretty well moving in the right direction and I can simply apply my little ongoing adjustments to keep doing what I’ve been doing. I believe there can be a little more satisfaction in looking back and acknowledging the fine tuning that I’ve applied to get me to where I am at the end of the year. Don’t forget, you need to be clear about where it is you want to be headed, to the things that make you happy, before you can be any good at steering towards them. I wish you all the best in finding your way to your perfect life. Have a great year.