Day two of 2015. How many of you have made a resolution or two? What is it this time? Lose the same ten pounds you were determined to lose last year? Quit smoking? Again. Exercise more? I’m betting most of you don’t have Mark Zuckerberg sized challenges. Learning Mandarin? Ok, so his it’s the primary language of his wife’s family. But tell the truth. Many of you have “resolved” to do or not do certain things for an entire year. Let’s face it. This is totally unrealistic. Used as a verb, resolve, according to the dictionary, means to bring an end to or find a solution for something. What this really translates to is taking those monumental things that you want to change, challenge or just plain give up and break them down into manageable, bite-sized pieces. By the way, Mr. Zuckerberg did not learn Mandarin in one year. He’s been studying the language since 2010 but focused his energy in 2014 to become “conversational” which he did. Bravo, considering it’s a very difficult language to learn.
You know what compound interest is, right? It’s interest that is calculated on both the principle and the accrued interest. For instance, would you take a million dollars right now or a penny doubled every day for thirty days? Most would take the quick and easy million, not giving the lowly doubled-every-day-penny a second thought. But because of “compounding” that penny will worth be worth more than five million dollars on day 30!
The same is true for most of you. It’s not a knowing or a doing problem. It’s changing the way you think. It’s what you think and believe that drives your actions. The actions required to keep our resolutions are easy to do but they are just as easy not to do. Eating a McDonald’s cheeseburger and fries won’t make you fat or give you heart disease–today. Running on the treadmill for an hour and having a salad won’t make you fit–today. But think about these same choices, or any actions that will help get you where you’re going and you have the recipe for failure or success. Success in anything is built. Slowly and gradually, day in and day out, based on the choices we make DAILY. It is a process not a destination. We plant, we cultivate, we harvest. The results are not instantaneous. The secret is TIME. We want to plant (say, lose weight) and then harvest right away (I didn’t eat all day and I didn’t lose a pound!), forgetting the most important part-to cultivate (daily disciplines done over time).
Don’t look for shortcuts, there are none. Hang out with like-minded people who support you and inspire you to reach your goals. Read ten pages of of a life-transforming book every day. Refuse to be swayed by attitudes, moods or feelings and get it done…regardless!
May y’all have an adventurous, joy, laughter and love-filled, most prosperous year ever! Happy 2015!