The New Year is a little over a two weeks old. How many have kept their New Year’s Resolutions? Something tells me there are a very small number of people out there who haven’t tossed aside their resolutions at this point. Yes, it is noble to take steps to do better in life, and people make their resolutions with the best of intentions. Since most people aren’t working during the last week of December, they use the time to see where they are and where they want to be. Because no one is perfect, there’s a gap. So, every year people make resolutions to do whatever to improve, and every year people give up by January 15 (or earlier).
Many people quit because they were too ambitious. For example, take the famous New Year’s resolution of giving up smoking. After all, it doesn’t seem so hard to stop smoking. Just toss out the cigarettes, ashtray and lighter, and the now former smoker is on his or her way to better health. The trouble comes when the first craving hits. When that happens, the once former smoker makes a beeline for the trash can to look for any surviving cigarettes. Another reason people give up on resolutions is that they didn’t account for real life situations in their plans. For example, what do you do when the doughnuts appear in the office break room, you’re hungry, and you resolved to eat less junk food and lose 15 pounds?
Let’s say your resolutions are business related. Those should be easy to keep. Right? For example, you resolve to not put off signing up for continuing education courses or you resolve that you will get 50 new patients by June. Well, January quickly turns into March and March becomes June, and you haven’t signed up for one class or done anything to get new patients. Pass the doughnuts, please.
Of course, there is still time to improve. After all, you don’t have to wait until next January to reboot your New Year’s Resolutions. Shouldn’t every day be a day to say, “I will do better,” and do what is necessary to achieve our goals? If your answer is “Yes,” a bigger question is “What’s stopping you?”
It takes more than mere intention to improve. You need a plan. If you want to lose weight, drink water instead of snacking. If you want to take a continuing education course, sign up for a class as soon as the information comes in and mark the date in your calendar. If you want to get new patients, either schedule time to contact primary care physicians or run some ads in your local newspaper.
Resolve that each day, be it January 1, March 3, or whenever, you will do one thing to achieve your goals. It can be something like signing up for one continuing education class a month or contacting two primary care doctors a week. Whatever is important to you, take the time each day to do it.
After all, opportunities to do better come up every day; it is up to us to take advantage of them. Carpe Diem, if you want to have a productive and happy New Year.
Metro “Everyday Is A Good Day To Change Habits”, Di Toro, Ilena. January 12, 2005.