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Resolve to be Resolute

December 30, 2010

It’s that time of year again. A few extra pounds for many of us. Not enough energy to make it through the day. A briefly intense drive to somehow become better than we were last year at something. What to do about it?

Most people will tackle this drive with the nearly ubiquitous New Year’s resolutions which will fall by the wayside somewhere between Sunday morning and a month later.  In no particular order, and with absolutely no scientific method involved, here are some of the more frequent resolutions I hear from people:

  • Lose 5…10…15…x pounds
  • Exercise more
  • Eat healthier
  • Read more
  • Watch TV less
  • Spend more time with family and friends
  • Focus on what’s important in my life

All of these resolutions are doomed to failure. Why?  Because they’re somehow inherently bad resolutions?  No. Because they’re not actionable.  Where is the next action?  There aren’t any, with the possible exception of “watch TV less” because it’s something that can be done immediately.  The rest are somewhere between pipe dreams and almost-next-actions that lack focus.

So, for the eve of 2011, I offer you this recommendation: Make one resolution. Resolve to define your next move, step, or action better. Apply this discipline to whatever you do, and the rest of the items that would normally appear on your resolutions list will miraculously happen if they survive the cut.

Happy New Year!

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