A new year is upon us and for many it means New Year’s Resolutions. What does resolution actually mean? According to Merriam-Webster it is “something that is resolved”. Alright, so what is the definition of resolve? Here are a few that were listed:
– to deal with successfully; clear up
– to find an answer
– to reach a firm decision about
I find the last one the most interesting when talking about New Year’s Resolutions; “to reach a FIRM decision about”. Notice I emphasized the word FIRM. I think that’s the problem with New Year’s Resolutions. They are things we’d like to do. They are things that would be nice. But do we really come to a FIRM DECISION to make them happen? In most cases no.
Think about this. When you ask someone “What are your New Year’s Resolutions?” the typical answer is something like: lose 10 pounds, spend more time with my family, read a book a month, etc.
If however, I said to that same person “What firm decisions have you made for 2014?” I’m guessing I might not get the same response from most people. I imagine most would give me a blank stare or ask me what I meant by firm decisions. Just saying “firm decisions” gives you a feeling of something serious, something important. Isn’t that the point? If you’re going to make New Year’s Resolutions then they should be important (at least to you).
There is a second part to the equation. It is the time lapse between making a decision and acting on it. There is a correlation between the creation of an idea/goal/resolution, the speed at which it’s acted upon and success. The longer the time between the two the less likely it is to happen. The people who are best at taking immediate action, once a decision is made, are routinely the most successful.
I do want to make the point, action does not mean completion, it means moving toward completion and often the first action step is the key one. It gets the ball rolling.
So as we start 2014 I ask you, “Have you made any firm decisions for the upcoming year?” and as importantly, “What is your first step?” If you haven’t taken it yet, I challenge you to take it today.